TangataWhenua.com presents The 21 Most Influential Maori in 2010?

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It has been a year of ups and downs for us all and to celebrate and commemorate these moments we have decided to kick off our annual list of ‘The 21 Most Influential Maori in 2010’. This list comes after 12 full months of quiet observation and is a small reflection on people who we at TangataWhenua.com have noticed this year.

Some have worked hard to gain the spotlight; others had the spotlight thrust upon to them due to circumstance, both good and bad. What we have seen with all of then is that they represented Maori,the negatives and positives, whiledemonstrating to ourselves and to the wider World that our talent is deep and should never be taken for granted.

If you have any comments agree, disagree or even want to add new names to this list, please do. Remember, this list is more about Maori who we have seen pull our individual and collective attention.

And now, the 21 most influential Maori to our small whanau are

21 Rawiri Paratene a perennial and persistent talent, Rawiri produces work that captures the living spirit of Maori in everyday life. His recent work in The Insatiable Moon garnered critical praise and his constant support for the arts elevates everyone who comes into contact with this gentle soul.

20 Te Hamua Nikora every Maori in the land knows the words PAKI UP! As host of Maori TV favourite, Homai te Pakipaki, Te Hamua brought life, energy and support to all who took the mic on the celebrated karaoke stage.

19 Tamati Coffey he arrived on our morning tv screens with a big smile and earned our respect as part of the winning duo on Dancing with the Stars. Tamati draws a crowd whenever and wherever he turns up.

18 Mike Smith the hardest working man online, Mike Smith has kept the internet conscious by connecting activists, environmentalists and Facebook whanau in his role as advisor to Greenpeace and advocate for Papatuanuku.

17 Sina Brown-Davis when the G20 met earlier this year, the people of the World converged to voice opposition and Maori had a powerful and passionate advocate in Sina Brown-Davis. Her powerful insights and compassionate analysis lifted our intellectual level this year.

16 The Popata Whanau & the Martin Whanau the centre of Maori are our whanau. The Popata whanau inspired us with their direct action in the Far North and the Martin whanau showed how we need to stick together in the face of Pakeha racism during the Christchurch Earthquakes.

15 Sarah Walker when we asked groups of young Maori kids who they looked up to, the name that came up time and again was Kawerau BMX legend Sarah Walker. Shes hot, shes Maori and shes from Kawerau! summed it all up.

14 Danielle Hayes also from Kawerau, Danielle won New Zealands Top Model in 2010. She looks set to take her beautiful appeal and her staunch attitude to the World and proves that keeping it cool and keeping it real can be simply gorgeous.

13 Maori Groups on Facebook 2010 was the year of social media and Facebook dominated. Many of us joined Maori United, Proud to be Maori, Crazy Horses and Random Maori Fullas, We all left heaps of comments and loved everything they posted too. Special mentions also to Shaykh Kahungunu, our focused and on-pointMuslim brother and JGeek and the Geeks who made NZ history when their video Maori Boy gained 180,000 views on YouTube in less than 3 weeks. Doitz!!

12 Jenny-May Coffin - being talented, funny and personable makes Jenny-May one of the most prolific Maori presenters on television today. She switches from presenting on TV1 news to laughing on Maori TVs Code with great poise and easily holds our attention on both. Also respect to Scotty Morrison, Shane Taurima, Mere McClean, Tina Wickliffe and the ever-present Julian Wilcox.

11Ria Hall her voice is like a chorus of angels, her lyrics strike deep into the soul. Ria Hall and Puawai Cairnsreleasedheart-generated sounds and captured the amazing energy currently happening in the Maori music scene. Along with Maisey Rika, Tama Waipara, bands like 1814, House of Shem, Katchafire, the Black Seeds, Tiki Taane, Ruia Aperahama, SmashProof and Dirty Sesh, our ears remain locked and loaded to our unique Maori sound.

10 UNDRIP the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, though not being a single person, captured our attention when NZ refused to sign and then ignited our imagination as Minister Pita Sharples spoke in its favour, bringing years of effort by groups of visionary and dedicated Maori leaders to fruition.

9 Pike River Mine the entire World watched as the Pike River Mine tragedy unfolded and while we all wanted a Chile-type rescue, Papatuanuku had other plans. Of the 29 miners, two had Maori whakapapa and our hearts go out to them all.

8 Annette Sykes it is the tireless energy, the depth of awareness and the breadth of experiences that we appreciate about Annette. She is a consistent force for good and a respected voice for social transformation, taking the stand that many of us wish we had the confidence to make.She remains a trusted leader for advocates of tino rangatiratanga.

7 Hosea Gear all the ladies love this brother and every player on the field fears him. Hosea loves to score tries and this year, showed the NZ public why he was a prime pick for the All Blacks and demonstratted just how talented this whanau truly are.

6 Taika Waititi the man who brought back youre an egg as a saying, director, writer and actor Taika Waititi scored a massive hit with his movie Boy this year. Working alongside screen pioneer Merata Mita and Ainsley Gardiner, Taika brought an intimate story about a young Maori boy and placed it firmly in our hearts and minds. Shogun is the man!

5 The Maori Party it is a political force that everyone talks about. Be it Tariana Turia and Whanau Ora, Pita Sharples and his role as Minister of Maori Affairs or the challenging statements of Hone Harawira, the Maori Party has made Maori voices in Parliament relevant like never before. In addition, Whatarangi Winiata the elder Statesmen of Maori, is a philosophical driver, translating the intention of tino rangatiratanga into tangible actions & programmes and bridging generations of thought and activity. Though stepping down as President of the Maori Party, his influence is still being felt.

4 Hekia Parata and Sir Wira Gardiner this power couple are everywhere. Though narrowly missing out on the seat of Mana, Hekia joined the inner sanctum of the National Party and will be one of the MPs to watch in 2011. Along with the extensive background knowledge of Sir Wira, these two are set to make major moves this year and into the next.

3 Manu Caddie if any one person brought out the best in us this year, it was Manu Caddie. He inspired communities throughout the country to share information & ideas and encouraged whanau who care for the environment to hold hands and work together. Manu makes dreams happen be it politically at the boardroom table or practically in the garden and along with other young leaders like Tere Harrison, Chanz Mikaere and Marama Davidson, will help us all step boldly into this new decade.

2 Iwi Leaders Group this unofficial list reflects those Maori who have had the greatest influence in Te Ao Maori and few have had greater impact than the Iwi Leaders Group. Some hate them, others trust them, most dont know who they are or what they do. As a conduit for direct-Maori discussion with Government, it seems that when the ILG, or more particularly Mark Solomon and Tukuroirangi Morgan speak, the Ministers of the Crown seem to listen. There is the Iwi Chairs Forum as well but none seem as powerful as this duopoly, who are sure to play just as significant a role in 2011 as they did in 2010.

And the #1 most influential Maori for 2010 is

1 Stan Walker Stan is one of the biggest recording stars on both sides of the Tasman in 2010. After winning Australia Idol in 2009, he brought his cool Maori charm and angelic voice to the masses, drawing crowds from everywhere. He is humble as well as gifted and his whanau from Tauranga, Tuhoe and Australia cant get enough of him. What helped us pick Stan Walker above all else was his ataahua spirit he looks happy on stage giving his all and equally exudes warmth when signing tshirts for adoring rangatahi or giving hugs to kuia. For us at TangataWhenua.com, Stan was a symbol of pride and self-belief and showed us all that any Maori can give it their all and emerge a winner!

5 COMMENTS

  1. you obviously hav’nt done the research to bak up adding the “Martin” whaanau to the list. what a joke, if you were local or had local whaanau contacts you’d find the truth behind their lies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What a blunder and a sad buzz that someone did’nt do their mahi before writing this list…………….. ka aroha

    • Thanks for your comments, we never said these were the 21 most influential Maori to you, only to TangataWhenua.com from our perspective (working in ICT and with Maori communities around the world), you have every right not to agree but this whanau was influential to us.

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