Four Māori journalists have been named in New Zealand’s first Māori Journalism Award.
Television New Zealand’s own Kereama Wright joins Iulia Leilua and Renee Kahukura from Māori Television, and Maiki Sherman from Newshub as finalists.
The award recognises excellence in Māori journalism and is part of Massey University’s 2016 Ngā Kupu Ora Awards: Celebrating Māori Books and Journalism.
Massey Assistant Vice-Chancellor Māori and Pasifika Dr Selwyn Katene says the response was inspiring and that the inclusion of a journalism category in the Ngā Kupu Ora Awards provided an opportunity to gauge support for a Māori journalism kaupapa.
"Just as Ngā Kupu Ora was established to celebrate Māori authors who were not getting widespread recognition, this initiative aims to encourage and celebrate excellence in Māori journalism and at the same time start a conversation around growing concern about Māori journalist recruitment and training.”
The entries were judged by veteran journalists and broadcasters Shane Taurima, Erana Reedy and Julian Wilcox.
“It was awesome to see Māori stories you wouldn’t have seen in mainstream media," Mr Taurima said. "Stories that really matter to Māori told in a very Māori way.”
Ms Reedy says she was impressed with the calibre of entries and it serves to demonstrate a positive future for Maori journalism.
“I was blown away by the quality of the content and the standard of journalism.”
It's hoped the awards will be expanded next year. “It would be great, for example, to have separate categories for Māori and English but this first step has been very worthwhile,” said Mr Wilcox.
The winner will be announced on October 3 at an event to be held in partnership with Tāmaki Paenga Hira, the Auckland War Memorial Museum.