Arts Foundation Laureates 2022

The Arts Foundations Laureates 2022

The Arts Foundation was established in 1998 to honour extraordinary New Zealand artists with awards that celebrate their achievement and enable their artistic practice. Since its inception the Foundation has gifted over $5,620,000 to 259 New Zealand artists and organisations.

Foundation awards include a diverse range of Laureates, and in 2022 this included the first indigenous Queer Laureate Award — the Toi Kō Iriiri, and the hugley popular Mata Aho collective.

The awards night was an opportunity for the supporters and practitioners of the arts to gather at Aotea Centre; recognising and celebrating many of talented artists of Aotearoa.

Tanker Creative’s founder, Nicola Devine, was lucky enough to be able to attend and doubly excited when she realised that Hone Kouka—the co-founder of theatre company Tawata Productions, and the Creative Director and Co-Founder of Kia Mau Festival, our clients—was receiving an award. It was delightful to catch up with Hone and his delightful partner Mīria George.

Hone Kouka Arts Laureate 2022
Nicola Devine and Mīria George
2022 Arts Foundation Te Tumu Toi Laureate receiving the Sir Roger Hall Theatre Practitioner Award
Hone Kouka MNZM (Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Kahungunu, Rongowhakaata raua ko Ngāi Tahu) is a father, an acclaimed Māori director, producer and writer for theatre and film. Tawata Productions, and Kia Mau Festival; a Māori, Pasifika and global Indigenous contemporary performance platform are based in Te Ūpoko o te Ika a Māui. Widely regarded for his leadership, his commitment to supporting and upskilling emerging artists, and his own fearless and inventive creative approach – Hone is a legend in New Zealand theatre.

At 19, Hone became the youngest winner of the Bruce Mason Playwriting Award. Since then, he has had plays produced in South Africa, Britain, Hawaii, Canada, Australia, Japan, New Caledonia, as well as throughout New Zealand, with three plays being translated into French, Japanese and Russian.

In 2004, Hone, along with Mīria George, founded theatre and film production house Tawata Productions, producing the works of tangata whenua and tangata moana artists. He became a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his Services to Contemporary Māori Theatre in June 2009 and was awarded the New Zealand Writers Guild Mentors Award in 2013. In 2015, he became the founder and Artistic Director of Kia Mau Festival – a tangata whenua, tangata moana and international Indigenous multi arts platform based in Wellington. It is now seen as one of the most influential Indigenous arts festivals globally.

He had two films screened at the 2016 Berlin Film Festival – Born to Dance (Screenwriter) and Mahana (Executive Producer) and in 2017 he was awarded the Arts Category for Wellingtonian of the Year. Hone is the producer of numerous multi-award winning short films nationally and internationally, most recently fire in the water, fire in the sky by Mīria George in 2021. In 2022, he was awarded Te Tohu Tiketike from Taki Rua Productions in relation to the life of Taki Rua and the wider Māori Theatre Industry.

Massive congratulations to all the 2022 recipients

Theresa Gattung Female Arts Practitioners Award
Dr Maureen Lander MNZM – Multi-media Installation

Burr/Tatham Trust Award
Tame Iti – Multi-Disciplinary

My Art Visual Arts Award
Mata Aho Collective – Installation

Jillian Friedlander Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa Award
Areta Wilkinson – Māori Arts

Sir Roger Hall Theatre Practitioner Award
Hone Kouka MNZM – Theatre / Film

Te Tumu Toi Laureate
Paula Morris MNZM – Literature

Toi Kō Iriiri Queer Laureate Award
Lindah Lepou – Multi-Disciplinary

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