The 11th Waiata Māori Music Awards were held on Friday in Hastings, coinciding with te Wiki o Te Reo Māori, or, Māori Language Week.
The big winner was internationally acclaimed haka soul musician Rob Ruha who took home four awards.
These included Kōpae Mōteatea Hira (Best Māori Traditional Album) and Manu Tīoriori Tāne Autaia (Best Maori Male Solo Artist).
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Manu Tīoriori Wahine Autaia (Best Māori Female Solo Artist) was captured by the talented Ria Hall.
Carly Flynn and Hendon Blog's Mitch Ley had a closer listen to Rob Ruha's winning track 'Kalega' - a term often used by East Coast locals in place of the classic 'tu meke'.
Mr Ley told RadioLIVE that modern-pop influenced waiata could be a great contributor to the regrowth of te reo Māori in New Zealand.
Artists like Rei, with his award-winning EP 'Rangatira', and Huia's track 'Tu Tuia' are taking huge steps towards getting te reo music on the radio and closer to the top of the charts.
Listen to the full interview with Mitch Ley above.