A Samoan composer and conductor whose CV includes working as choirmaster for the first The Lord of the Rings movie has been recognised for his contribution to the performance and promotion of Pacific music.
Igelese Ete received the $7000 Senior Pacific Artist Award at the Creative New Zealand Arts Pasifika Awards in Manukau last night.
Ete, who worked on The Fellowship of the Ring alongside Oscar-winning composer Howard Shore, was also conductor for the America's Cup opening ceremony in 2002 and conductor/composer for the South Pacific Games in Samoa last year.
He has composed for and conducted more than 40 choirs and founded several, including the Auckland Pacific Gospel Choir and the Malaga Singers, from the University of the South Pacific Music Centre in Suva.
North & South magazine once named Ete, who is based in Fiji, as one of 100 Kiwis who had made a difference in New Zealand music.
The Enuamanu Atiu Nui Marurua Society of Auckland won the Pacific Heritage Arts Award of $5000 in recognition of its work towards the publication of A Collection of Writings from Enuamanu and Beyond: E Autataangano Enuamanu e Ta Te Aukorero.
The book - edited by Matiuteau Karora, Nuhisifa Seve-Williams, Armagh Mokoroa-Karora and Tupuna Kaiaruna - shares experiences of Cook Islanders living in their home country and abroad.
The win acknowledges the society's contribution to the maintenance, revival and promotion of the Cook Islands language, traditions, customs and performing arts.
James Ioelu (Samoa) received the $3000 Iosefa Enari Memorial Award recognising his role in Pacific opera.
The 22-year-old, who started playing piano at 4, plans to study further afield after he completes his bachelor of music degree at Auckland University this year.
Creative New Zealand's Pacific arts chairman, Pele Walker, said the annual awards celebrated the diverse range of Pacific art in New Zealand.
"Every year we are thrilled and delighted with not only the calibre of artists nominated but the range of artistic fields that they work in.
"The Pacific experience in NZ is unique. These awards ... acknowledge and celebrate the contribution these artists make to the flourishing New Zealand arts landscape."