Maori reggae bands will now be able to get greater recognition for their music with the addition of a new category at this year's Waiata Music Awards.
The move has come after unprecedented interest from reggae artists who up until this year had been included as part of the Best Maori Urban Album section.
Executive director Tama Huata has approved the addition of the Best Maori Urban Roots Album section for those working in the reggae genre.
A member from the Far North reggae band 1814, Patu Colbert, welcomes the new grouping because he doesn't classify his band's music as "urban".
Colbert says introducing the fresh category at the awards is a significant acknowledgement for reggae music and gives those musicians a better opportunity to further showcase their music.
He says New Zealand reggae music talks a lot about what is going on in Maori society including politics, religion, the environment and peace.
The awards ceremony will be held at the Hawke's Bay Opera House in Hastings on 8 September.