Artist and academic, Professor Ahorangi Derek Lardelli has been awarded the supreme award at the third Matariki Awards.
It gives me great pleasure to see Professor Lardelli walk away with the Te Tohu Tikitiki o Matariki, as he has so successfully spanned the worlds of art and academia.
He is not only one of the greatest tohunga tā moko in Aotearoa but he is a carver, a leading exponent in Kapa Haka, a composer and a researcher in Whakapapa.
This renaissance man also combines his art with a deep sense of public service as a member of the Waitangi Tribunal, trustee of the NZ Arts Foundation and Toi Māori Aotearoa.
He was awarded the supreme award last night at the third annual Māori Television Awards in Auckland by the Hon Kelvin Davis.
Professor Lardelli is a leader of Rongowhakaata and Ngāti Porou.
I note that Professor Lardelli was a double winner as he shared Te Waipuna-ā-Rangi Award for Entertainment, with Kiwi actor and Hollywood star Rachel House.
I believe his passion over the art of tā moko has been critical to its revival and its renewed cultural significance throughout Aotearoa.