Recognising Matariki Stars of Aotearoa

Ngā Tohu Matariki o te Tau provides the opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate those who have made considerable contributions to Aotearoa across a range of diverse backgrounds and sectors, locally, nationally and globally.

Published: Thursday, 13 July 2023 | Rāpare, 13 Hōngongoi, 2023

Te Puni Kōkiri congratulates all Ngā Tohu Matariki 2023 recipients.

More than 300 guests gathered in the Tākina Wellington Convention and Exhibition Centre, with viewers tuning in to Whakaata Māori from across the motu to celebrate extraordinary leaders from Aotearoa in the fields of education, arts and entertainment, health and science, sports, business and innovation, community, te reo me ngā tikanga Māori, lifetime achievement and young achievers.

Te Puni Kōkiri sponsors the Ngā Mata o te Ariki Tāwhirimātea (Supreme Award) and this year it was awarded to Te Wharekura o Ngāti Rongomai in Rotorua for spearheading a remarkable change when they reset their full school calendar to align with the maramataka. The kura ā Iwi also received the Tupuānuku (Education Award).

One of the Te Huihuinga o Matariki (Lifetime Achievement Award) was presented to pioneer broadcaster, teacher, poet, writer, and artist, Tā Haare Williams KNZM (Te Aitanga a Māhaki, Ngāi Tūhoe, Rongowhakaata, Te Whakatōhea), who inspired a new generation of broadcasters, audiences and young Māori to follow their dreams, champion te reo Māori, and have belief in telling the stories that must be told.

The second Te Huihuinga o Matariki was awarded to Māori health champion, Lyvia Marsden QSM (Ngāti Whātua), for her five decades of mahi in the health sector.

Teresea Olsen QSM (Ngāti Porou) received Matariki (Community Award) for her work on the front lines, supporting, counselling, and advocating for the health and safety of communities and whānau. Olsen’s vaccination programme in the Hutt Valley during the COVID pandemic, targeting vulnerable communities, was one of the most successful in the country.

Arts Laureate and activist Tame Iti (Ngāi Tūhoe, Ngāti Wairere, Ngāti Hauā, Te Arawa) was presented Tupuārangi (Arts and Entertainment Award) for his commitment to his people and passion for te reo Māori that shook the political system and challenged attitudes. 

And one of our most decorated Commonwealth Games athletes, squash player Joelle King MNZM (Ngāti Porou) was the recipient of the Ururangi (Sports Award).

Watch Ngā Tohu Matariki o Te Tau 2023 on Māori Plus here.

Here is the full list of recipients:

  • Te Huihuinga o Matariki - Lifetime Achievement Award
    Sponsored by Te Māngai Pāho.
    Recipient: Tā Haare Williams KNZM (Te Aitanga a Māhaki, Ngāi Tūhoe, Rongowhakaata, Te Whakatōhea)
  • Tupuārangi - Arts and Entertainment Award
    Sponsored by Toi Māori
    Recipient: Tame Iti (Ngāi Tūhoe, Ngāti Wairere, Ngāti Hauā, Te Arawa)
  • Hiwaiterangi - Young Achievers Award
    Sponsored by University of Canterbury
    Recipient: Maia Mariner (Ngāi Tai, Ngāti Koata, Ngāti Hāmoa)
  • Waitī - Health and Science Award
    Sponsored by Mental Health Foundation
    Recipient: Te Arawa Lakes Trust
  • Tupuānuku – Education Award
    Sponsored Te Wānanga o Raukawa
    Recipient: Te Whakekura o Ngāti Rongomai
  • Ururangi – Sports Award
    Sponsored by Accident Compensation Corporation
    Recipient: Joelle King MNZM (Ngāti Porou)
  • Waitā - Business and Innovation Award
    Sponsored ANZ
    Recipient: Arama Kukutai (Ngāti Tipa, Waikato, Ngāti Maniapoto, Te Aupōuri, Parihaka)
  • Te Huihuinga o Matariki - Lifetime Achievement Award
    Sponsored by Te Mātāwai
    Recipients: Lyvia Marsden QSM (Ngāti Whātua)
  • Waipunarangi -Te Reo and Tikanga Award
    Sponsored by: Te Taura Whiri i te reo Māori
    Recipient: Dr Ruakere Hond (Taranaki, Te Āti Awa)
  • Matariki – Community Award
    Sponsored by Whānau Ora (Te Pūtahitanga Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency)
    Recipient: Teresea Olsen QSM (Ngāti Porou)
  • Ngā Mata o te Ariki Tāwhirimātea – Supreme Award
    Sponsored by Te Puni Kōkiri
    Recipient: Te Wharekura o Ngāti Rongomai

Photo caption: Renata and Tukiterangi Curtis receiving Ngā Mata o te Ariki Tāwhirimātea (the Supreme Award) on behalf of Te Wharekura o Ngāti Rongomai.