Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Pasifika artists shine bright with 2022 Creative New Zealand Arts Pasifika Award

Eight Pasifika Artists Acknowledged At 26th Creative New Zealand Arts Pasifika Awards. Photo: Supplied

Creative New Zealand Arts Pasifika Awards honour eight Pacific creatives for their contribution to the arts.

The awards play an important part in celebrating Pacific artistic excellence in Aotearoa and represent the large range of experience and talent the communities have to offer, says Caren Rangi, Chair of the Arts Council.

“It’s difficult to measure the significant, intangible impact that the work of our Pacific creatives has on the cultural tapestry in Aotearoa. So every year it is an honour to acknowledge the work of the winners whose talents have contributed enormously to our creative eco-system over the past 12 months.” 

There are usually seven recipients of the Arts Pasifika Awards but this year they crowned eight. Two winners were chosen for the ‘Special Recognition Award’ category, which acknowledges a significant national or worldwide contribution to Pacific arts.

Fatu Feu’u, an internationally renowned artist won the Senior Pacific Artist Award worth $25,000. The award recognises a Pasifika artist’s commitment to their practice and mana within the community.

Feu’u grew up in the village of Poutasi, in Western Samoa, immigrating to New Zealand in 1966. Photo: Stuff

Feu’u has been awarded because of his role as a leader and mentor within the Pacific arts community, nurturing a new generation of creatives and shaping the interest in contemporary Pacific art locally and abroad.

Feu’u has joined forces with the international company Specsavers as patron for the Fred Hollows Foundation and is releasing limited edition frames featuring imagery from a painting included in his new series, Protection of the Pacific Ocean.

Daren Kamali is Fijian, Wallis, Futunan and Scottish. Photo: Supplied

Daren Kamali, a poet and multidisciplinary artist won the Pacific Heritage Arts Award worth $10,000. The award honours a Pasifika artist who has made a significant contribution to New Zealand’s preservation, revitalisation, or promotion of a Pacific heritage artform.

His works, which combine poetry, visual art, performance art, and sound/musicality with a Pan Pacific perspective, are influenced by his childhood in Fiji and New Zealand.

Kamali co-founded the South Auckland Poets Collective in 2008 and is the current Heritage Pacific Advisor for Auckland Libraries.

Ululau Ama, a visual storyteller has won the Pacific Toa Award which recognises the contribution of a Pasifika artist who lives with a disability.

He specialises in drawing, printmaking, poetry, music, painting and sculpture, with many of his works based on Samoan mythology. His award is valued at $10,000.

Kulimoe’anga ”Stone” Maka is an interdisciplinary artist who was born in Tonga, in the village of Pātangata. Photo: Stuff

Kulimoe’anga “Stone” Maka won the Pacific Contemporary Artist Award worth $10,000 also. He’s being recognised as an artist who has demonstrated artistic innovation.

Stone’s Tongan ethnicity has a significant influence on his work and is inspired by the sacred art of ngatu tā‘uli, blackened tapa cloth. He combines traditional methods with contemporary and experimental techniques.

Fa’amoana John Luafutu and Troy Tu’ua are recipients of the Special Recognition Award (both valued at $10,000).

Fa’amoana John Luafutu belongs to the Sa Tuatagaloa Family and the villages of Satala and Poutasi, Falealili, Sāmoa. Photo: Supplied

Luafutu is known for his creative work, like his novel ‘A Boy Called Broke’, as having a huge impact on Pacific storytelling in Aotearoa. His contribution to the Royal Commission Pacific hearing in regard to abuse in state care crossed the boundaries of art and social justice.

Tu’ua is a Samoan multidisciplinary artist and one of the first-ever graduates of the Pacific Institute of Performing Arts (2009). In 2014 Tu’ua was part of the cast of New Zealand’s first ever Pasifika musical, The Factory Musical for Kila Kokonut Krew, which toured Australia and Scotland for the Edinburgh Fringe festival.

Dahlia Malaeulu, an award-winning author, publisher and creator of Mila’s Books (Pasifika children’s books that help tamaiti to be seen, heard and valued as Pasifika), wins the Emerging Pacific Artist Award valued at $7,500.

Malaeulu leads the only all-Pasifika children’s publishing team in the world at Mila’s Books, demonstrating the potential of Pasifika creatives, communities, and our way of storytelling.

Lastly, Joshua Pearson won the Iosefa Enari Memorial Award, which aims to help develop a Pasifika musician specialising in classical genres. Valued at $7,500 also, Pearson is a Samoan sonic artist, composer, and creative technologist.

Due to COVID-19, there hasn’t been an in-person awards since 2019 but Rangi is pleased to announce that this year there will be an in-person award ceremony to celebrate all of this year’s winners.



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