Ngā Tohu Reo Māori: Lifetime achievement awarded to three prominent wāhine

A health advocate for Māori, a veteran broadcaster, and a Kōhanga Reo champion walked away from Ngā Tohu Reo Māori with the highest honour of the awards night.

Kahurangi Rangimarie Naida Glavish DNZM. JP (Ngāti Whātua), Tini Molyneux (Ngāi Tūhoe), and Kuini Moehau Reedy (Ngāti Porou, Te Aitanga-a-Mate) have each received the Lifetime Achievement Award, celebrating their significant contributions to te reo Māori spanning over four decades.

It is the first time in the awards’ history that three people have received the honour and a first that all three recipients are wāhine. 

This evening, Tākina Wellington Convention & Exhibition Centre hosted Ngā Tohu Reo Māori, with 13 awards handed out to recipients from across Aotearoa. 

Kahurangi Naida has been a driving force behind the normalisation and integration of te reo Māori within the healthcare sector. She received the Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (DNZM) in 2018. She reluctantly accepted the accolade but recognised the benefits for her people.

Kahurangi Rangimarie Naida Glavish DNZM. JP

Glavish, who sparked a nationwide movement by greeting callers with “kia ora” while working as a phone operator in the 1980s, encourages learners to keep pursuing te reo.

“You have genealogy, a line that can be traced down from the ancestors. You have the language. 

Your language resides in your blood, in your heart, and the seat of your emotions.”

Kuini Moehau Reedy has been a champion of the Kōhanga Reo movement since its inception in the early 1980s.Her contributions include waiata reo Māori, which have been integral in revitalising the language. She has dedicated her life to protecting and celebrating te reo, tikanga and toi Māori.

Kuini Moehau Reedy

“If you grow up with te reo Māori, you see it, you hear it, and it comes out of the mouth. That's how you learn the language. It's not as if you sit and learn the language,” according to Reedy. 

Tini Molyneux is a veteran broadcaster who played a pivotal role as a Māori affairs reporter for TVNZ in the 1980s. She also fronted Te Karere, working alongside pioneers such as Hone Edwards, Tawini Rangihau, Te Waihoroi Shortland, and Wena Harawira. 

She was raised speaking in the Ngāi Tūhoe dialect, and as a result, her work and the language she used were from Rūātoki. She covered Māori events like the Foreshore & Seabed protests, but her most memorable piece of work was leading the coverage of the tangihanga of Te Arikinui Te Atairangikaahu in 2006. 

Molyneux is adamant te reo Māori in broadcasting is strong but warns that the language could be lost if people do not use it. 

Tini Molyneux

“The aspiration to see our language thrive is within us all as Māori. If we are not persistent in speaking our language, perhaps it might end up like the moa,” says Molyneux. 

Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori Chief Executive Ngahiwi Apanui-Barr congratulated all of tonight’s winners. He took the opportunity to reinforce his support for the many people who have fought hard for the language.

“We celebrate 13 recipients who are recognised for their staunch advocacy, innovation, leadership, and vast efforts for te reo Māori. Beyond this, there are huge numbers of other kaupapa that are also doing this mahi.”

Each recipient was awarded a specially designed taonga in the form of the Hei Tiki, created by Vaka. These taonga were made from repurposed and environmentally-friendly material.


Full list of Ngā Tohu Reo Māori recipients
  • Tū Rangatira - Supreme: Ariana Stevens
  • Te Ao Matihiko - Digital: Pūkenga ā-Ipurangi, Mahi Tahi
  • Hapori - Community: Hauā Reo, Hauā Tangata (TupuOra Ltd & Ngati Hauā Iwi Trust)
  • Mātauranga - Education: TupuOra Ltd: Te mātauranga kia Māori
  • Te Ao Pāpāho - Media: Aukaha News
  • Rangatahi - Youth: Ngā Tapuwae ā-Taraika
  • Pakihi - Business: Rangiata, Sky TV
  • Rāngai Tūmatanui – Public Sector: Te Kaunihera o Pōneke - Wellington City Council
  • Mahi Toi: Arataua Media