It's New Zealand's highest accolade for outstanding practising artists, and two of the seven 2020 Arts Foundation Laureates whakapapa to Ngāti Tūwharetoa.
The artists are choreographer and artistic director Moss Te Ururangi Patterson from Tūrangi and singer-songwriter and latterly writer Shayne Carter with recently-discovered links to Waitahanui.
Moss says five years ago he was wondering to himself who he would like to do a collaboration with and Shayne Carter popped into his head.
"He was this rock god from Dunedin. I didn't know him, but I rang him and not long after he jumped on a plane with his guitar and his boots."
The pair toured Taiwan, China, Korea and New Zealand from 2016 to 2018 with the Atamira Dance Company, with Shayne playing guitar and musician James Webster playing taonga pūoro (Māori musical instruments) to Moss' dances Pango and Marama.
A leading contemporary dance choreographer, Moss Te Ururangi Patterson, now living in Auckland, creates dance for the Royal New Zealand Ballet and tours with his own dance company Tohu.
Last year he created the 2019 Choreographic Series for the Royal New Zealand Ballet, recreating memories from his kuia (grandmother) in a dance that re-imagines and brings to life his ancestral home Puhaorangi, the wharenui at Tokaanu Marae.
Best known for leading Straitjacket Fits from 1986 to 1994 and the only permanent member of band Dimmer, Shayne Carter's autobiography Dead People I Have Known was published last year and won two awards at the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards.
"On tour with Moss, we were the elders of our group as the dancers were all young men in their 20s," said Shayne.
He says Moss is a great leader of men, always inspirational with infectious enthusiasm that is encouraging.
Living in Auckland for the summer, Shayne laughs about a slight case of persistent tennis elbow, a daily reminder of touring through Asia with Moss who convinced him to join him each day on a jog, followed by burpies.
"Moss is really fit. The other day he told me he just did 900 burpies in a row," said Shayne.
Speaking to the New Zealand Arts Foundation about his award for music and literature, Shayne said he wants to write another book and play rock music "till I drop".
"In my practice [as an artist] I always feel like an outsider looking in. And as an artist I think that's how it should be. If you are in the mainstream, then you are thinking what everyone else is thinking."
Speaking to the Taupō & Tūrangi Weekender, Shayne says his father Peter Carter was adopted by the Carter family and taken to live in Otago.
Moss said, "When I first met him, we were in the taxi from the airport and he [Shayne] said 'I've got some Māori ancestry but I'm not exactly sure about it."
Shayne said, "Dad knew he was Tūwharetoa and never met his birth parents. Living in Dunedin I always felt very disconnected from my Māori roots, there is not much Māori culture down there."
Shayne and his sister had been trying to find out about their father's birth family since he died in 2001 but had met a blank wall at each turn.
"I had one last lead to find Dad's mother. I had just finished writing Dead People I Have Known and sent off a letter [to a possible relative]. A few days later I had a phone call and found out my grandmother was from the Wall family in Waitahanui."
Last week a cousin took Shayne to visit her grave at Hatepe. He says rediscovering his whakapapa was something he wanted to do for himself and also on behalf of his father.
"Māoridom is sort of something that you carry in your blood and in your heart. My father was a Māori man," said Shayne.
Moss says he hopes the accolade of being an Arts Laureate will have an impact on other artists he has collaborated with and be an inspiration to young artists in the Tūwharetoa rohe.
"Maybe a young artist will think, if he [Moss] can do it, then I can do it," said Moss.
He places a high value on the many generations of family connection and communities within the Taupō region for who he is as a person and an artist.
"We [Shayne and I] as artists have taken it to extremes as to what we can do. But it's come from the region, come from our roots. Our creativity has allowed us to forge careers, but our whakapapa gives our art validity," said Moss.
At the moment Moss is preparing a new work for the 2021 Auckland Festival and says it's one of his dreams to perform at the Taupō Winter Festival.