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Pacific artists in the limelight

Pacific artists in the limelight

  • 10 Oct 2022
2022 winners  Credit Creative New Zealand

(Picture caption: Pacific artists have been recognised for their creativity in the 2022 Arts Pasifika Awards.) 

From visual arts, to theatre, to the art of ngatu tā‘uli (blackened tapa cloth), eight Pacific artists are being recognised for their contribution to Pacific arts with a Creative New Zealand Arts Pasifika Award.  

Caren Rangi, Chair of the Arts Council, Creative New Zealand’s governing body, says the awards play an important part in the celebration of Pacific artistic excellence in Aotearoa New Zealand.  

“It's difficult to measure the significant, intangible impact that the work of our Pacific creatives has on the cultural tapestry in Aotearoa,” Caren says. 

“So, every year it is a joy and an honour to acknowledge the work of the winners of these awards, whose talents have contributed enormously to our creative eco-system over the past 12 months.”  

These awards also represent the diversity of talent and experience across our Pacific creative community, she adds.   

The Pacific Toa Award, which recognises the contribution of a Pacific artist with the lived experience of disability, is now in its fourth year, and is one of the many significant opportunities and initiatives developed under the Pacific Arts Strategy 2018-2023.   

While there are usually seven award winners, this year there are eight – two winners in the Special Recognition Award category, which acknowledges a notable contribution to Pacific arts, nationally or internationally.  

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there has not been an in-person awards ceremony since 2019, and it means a lot for the community to celebrate in-person once more, Caren says. 

The selection process for these awards begins with public nominations, followed by robust assessment including external Pacific arts experts and a panel which makes recommendations to the Chief Executive of Creative New Zealand. The Arts Council then approve the award recipients.  

The 2022 Arts Pasifika Awards recipients are: 

  • Senior Pacific Artist Award ($25,000): Fatu Feu’u, ONZM  
  • Pacific Heritage Arts Award ($10,000): Daren Kamali  
  • Pacific Toa Award ($10,000): Ululau Ama       
  • Pacific Contemporary Artist Award ($10,000): Kulimoe’anga “Stone” Maka  
  • Special Recognition Award - two winners ($10,000 each): Fa’amoana John Luafutu and Troy Tu’ua 
  • Emerging Pacific Artist Award ($7,500): Dahlia Malaeulu    
  • Iosefa Enari Memorial Award ($7,500): Joshua Pearson