Nominations for the Creative New Zealand Arts Pasifika Awards 2015 are now open. The awards celebrate excellence and innovation in Pacific arts in New Zealand. Nominations can be made by members of the public, and artists can also nominate themselves in the relevant category. The annual awards were established in 1996 and offer the public a chance to acknowledge artists who best characterise the richness and diversity of high-quality Pacific art in this country. Artists can be emerging or established, and practice either heritage or contemporary artforms. The categories for the Creative New Zealand Arts Pasifika Awards 2015 are:
- Senior Pacific Artist Award ($10,000) – recognises the contribution of a senior established Pacific artist in maintaining or developing their artform in New Zealand.
- Pacific Contemporary Artist Award ($5,000) – recognises an artist who has demonstrated innovation within their artform. Artists must have a track record and have achieved in their chosen field. Recognition will be given to those who work in a unique artform, or those who continually push the boundaries of their practice.
- Pacific Heritage Arts Award ($5,000) – recognises an artist or cultural group who has made a major contribution to maintaining, reviving or promoting a Pacific heritage artform in New Zealand. This may include language, dance, traditional music, weaving or tatau.
- Iosefa Enari Memorial Award ($4,000) – recognises the contribution of the late Iosefa Enari to the arts, in particular his pioneering role in Pacific opera. This award supports the career development of an individual Pacific singer, musician or composer across all classical genres and career stages.
- Emerging Pacific Artist Award ($4,000) – recognises an emerging artist showing promise and potential in their chosen art form. The purpose of this award is to recognise achievement at this developmental stage ensuring that the artist will develop their career in their chosen field.
- Special Recognition Award ($5,000) – recognises the recipient’s special contribution to the standing, and standard, of Pacific Arts in New Zealand and/or internationally. This award recognises an individual whose work, influence and commitment have raised the standards, expectations and reputation of Pacific art and artists. It may be awarded for artistry across any art form or for arts management, and could be for a one-off or ongoing contribution to a local or international success story.