Tauranga-born singer Ria Hall - and winner of Best Maori Album of the Year - says it's paramount for her to bring Maoritanga into her music.
Hall, of Ngati Ranginui and Ngai te Rangi, won the award at the Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards in Auckland on Thursday night for her self-titled album Ria Hall.
She says she was shocked and happy to be chosen, but tried hard to contain her mixed emotions until the end.
Hall says each song on the album has an important te reo aspect to it.
Mixing Maoritanga in her music with hip hop, soul and electronica is a good way to draw in a non-Maori speaking audiencem she says.
Her next album is planned to be released mid-2013.