The annual Te Waka Toi awards have acknowledged the impact of one of the country's leading contemporary dancers on Maori arts and culture.
Taiaroa Royal from Te Arawa, Ngati Raukawa and Ngai Tahu has received the Te Tohu Toi Ke ("making a difference") award for his two-decade contribution to Maori arts.
He says it was totally unexpected and very humbling.
Waatea News reports a new supreme award, named after the late Maori queen Dame Te Atairangikaahu, went to opera singer Dame Kiri Te Kanawa.
The Nga Tohu a Ta Kingi Ihaka award for a lifetime contribution to the maintenance of Maori culture went to Jossie Kaa, Kihi Ngatai, Tata Maere, Vera Morgan and Wiremu Kaa.