Rotorua's Trevor Maxwell is to be honoured at this year's Waiata Māori Music Awards.

Maxwell will receive the Keepers of Tradition Award - Kaitiaki Tikanga Pūoru, at a red carpet extravaganza ceremony in Hastings on September 13.

The award recognises his lifelong commitment to kapa haka and service as tutor and leader of Ngāti Rangiwewehi and lifelong member of Te Matatini, as well as his contribution to Te Ao Māori and Māori tourism within New Zealand.

The Keepers of the Tradition Award is one of four special awards acknowledging the career contributions of respected musicians from Māoridom.


Maxwell said he was honoured and humbled to be acknowledged.

"I remember watching Sir Howard Morrison receive a Waiata Māori Music Award many years ago, perhaps even when the awards were in their infancy," Maxwell said.

"I thought that was pretty cool and I have observed the awards ever since."

The long-time Rotorua district councillor said he was both surprised and chuffed after learning he was to be in receipt of one himself.

"Myself and my son and daughter and their families are planning to travel to Hastings for the ceremony. It will be great to spend an evening in the company of such wonderful people from all over Aotearoa."

The three remaining special awards and recipients are; Abe Phillips (posthumously) and Pixie Williams for lifetime contributions to Māori music - Mauriora o Te Ao Pūoru Māori, and Jarrod Huirama receives a music industry Award - Ahumahi Pūoru.

Awards executive director Ellison Huata said the Waiata Māori Music Awards celebrated excellence in Māori music and acknowledged and honoured the keepers, teachers, promoters, creators and performers of Māori music.

"These four recipients represent the highest achievement in their fields from composition to performance and production," Huata said.