Māori Kaihautū (Leader, representative, steersman) - Māori Role Model Award for either supporting other Takatāpui/LGBTI people or representing Takatāpui/LGBTI people positively.
VOTED ON AND JUDGED
Awa made a documentary, ‘Born This Way: Awa’s Story’ to advocate transgender rights and to change people’s negative perspectives on trans people. She wanted to raise awareness about lack of surgery in NZ and how crucial family support is.
Awa participated at the Māoriland Film Festival in Rarotonga to film with youth to make short films and stories from the rangatahi, their whakapapa, their whenua
DR ELIZABETH KEREKERE
After 35+ years of Māori activism and community work, Elizabeth Kerekere is best known for her work for takatāpui (Māori LGBTIQ) and Rainbow communities, Treaty advocacy and youth development.
Known as ‘Whaea’ or the ‘Takatāpui Queen’, Elizabeth is founder and Chair of Tīwhanawhana Trust (for takatāpui well-being and advocacy 2001). She produced the first major research on takatāpui in her thesis Part of the Whānau: The Emergence of Takatāpui Identity - He Whariki Takatāpui. Her suicide prevention resource Takatāpui: Part of the Whānau (with Mental Health Foundation 2015) was the first of its kind in the world. She followed that with Growing Up Takatāpui: Whānau Journeys 2016 (with RainbowYOUTH 2016).
Proud Post op Transexual advocate
Grace has been supporting young transgender sisters and brothers all over New Zealand with advice on hormone treatment and surgeries. Grace also organises collaborations with other organisations to create safe spaces to promote Transgender at events such as Big Gay Out and Takataapui hui.
Grace has also been a speaker for the last 3 years at events such as NZPC's 30th birthday, Trans Remembrance day in Auckland, kai rua's first event in Hamilton and Takataapui Hui workshops.
One of Grace’s greatest achievements is being a founder of Te Rakei Whakaehu, a charity group based in the Waikato area, focusing on improving and helping the LGBTI community.
Tai Waru is an Indigenous Maori woman from the Te Atiawa, Taranaki, Tainui, Nga Puhi and Ngati Kuri tribes of New Zealand.
In 2018 Maori were acknowledged and recognised as an important voice as part of the Parade. Tai is an advocate for cultural inclusion and her greatest passion is to promote and engage positive and harmonious relationships in the community to provide better opportunities for LGBTI.
Tai commissioned a Rainbow Korowai from Waikato designers’ Te Whare Arangi, which was gifted to the LGBTI community for events such as Celebration of Life or Achievements.
The korowai is named Hononga representing Unity and Pride.
Tai has encouraged LGBTI people to embrace their culture and sexual identity by leading with strength and mana.