A Te Whanau a Apanui and Ngati Porou uri has taken home the award for best Māori album at the New Zealand Music Awards held in Auckland last night.
Rob Ruha has been composing waiata for more than a decade, and released his debut EP Tiki Tapu earlier this year.
The album, which name means a sacred moko implement, concepts include the liberation of cultural expressions of identity, aroha, kotahitanga and spiritual belief systems.
Mr Ruha says the album asks to hold fast to Maoritanga in the face of immense societal changes.
Vocalist Tama Waipara, of Ngati Ruapani, Rongowhakaata and Ngati Porou descent, won the Tui for best roots album for Fill Up The Silence.
Stan Walker, from Tuhoe and Ngati Tuwharetoa, won two awards for the NZ On Air radio airplay award for Bulletproof and the people's choice award.