Following a run of success in Hollywood, Rotorua's Cliff Curtis has been welcomed home with Te Tohu Tiketike o Matariki Supreme Award at the inaugural Matariki Awards.

The star-studded evening at Auckland's War Memorial Museum celebrated and honoured extraordinary Maori talent and achievement across a range of fields and industries.

Curtis took home the Supreme Award for his outstanding commitment to Aotearoa and kaupapa Maori. He also won the Te Waipuna-a-Rangi Award for arts and entertainment.

The Rotorua-born actor, known for his roles in Whale Rider, Once Were Warriors and The Dark Horse, is playing Travis, a lead character on the AMC horror-drama series Fear the Walking Dead, a companion series of The Walking Dead.


This month Mr Curtis beat out Sir Ian McKellen to take home the Best Actor gong at the Seattle International Film Festival for his role as chess champion Genesis Potini in The Dark Horse.

The awards were organised by Maori TV in partnership with Te Puni Kokiri.

Other winners included young All Blacks sensation Nehe Milner-Skudder, television presenter Scotty Morrison, acclaimed Waikato professor Linda Smith and successful Maori-owned dairy company Miraka Limited, which is based near Taupo.

Hosted by Stacey Morrison and Matai Smith, the awards ceremony featured live performances by Ria Hall and The Modern Maori Quartet.

Conveyer of judges and Maori Television chief executive Paora Maxwell said the calibre of this year's winners was inspiring.

"It's wonderful to celebrate the success right across the board. Every finalist has made an incredible contribution in their respective fields of endeavour ... Maori TV is both proud and humbled to be associated with the Matariki Awards and with the support of our partners, Te Puni Kokiri, we look forward to the awards becoming an annual event."

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28 Jun, 2016 12:30pm
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Award list
- Supreme Award: Cliff Curtis
- Te Waita Award for Sport: Nehe Milner-Skudder
- Te Waipuna-a-Rangi Award for Arts and Entertainment: Cliff Curtis
- Te Waiti Award for Te Reo & Tikanga: Scotty Morrison
- Te Tupu-a-Rangi Award for Health & Science: IronMaori
- Matariki Young Achievers Award: Ezekiel Raui, 18
- Te Tupu-a-Nuku Award for Business & Innovation: Miraka Limited
- Te Ururangi Award for Education: Professor Linda Smith