The Vodafone Pacific Music Awards is only two weeks away, and today the recipient of this year's Manukau Institute of Technology Lifetime Achievement Award is announced: Christchurch based performing arts collective, Pacific Underground.
They formed in 1993, and since then have shared stories of Pasifika communities living in Aotearoa through plays, music concerts, events, CDs, tours and collaborations with artists all over the Pacific.
Pacific Music Awards Trust spokesperson Rev Mua Strickson-Pua notes that the award recognises artists who have significantly contributed to Pacific music over an extended period of time.
"That's certainly something the community sees in Pacific Underground. This group has occupied a central space in the local scene and across a wide variety of mediums.
I love that Pacific Underground started in a very humble, grassroots way, but its influence and contribution today is being recognised and honoured."
For the past 17 years, Pos Mavaega and Tanya Muagututi'a have led the group and have diversified its involvement in performing arts by focusing on strengthening its behind-the-scenes activities through event and music production.
Recent collaborations included working on Kalaga'la at the Auckland Arts Festival in 2015, completing tours to New Caledonia and performing at the Jean Tjibaou Cultural Centre in Noumea.
They also recently worked with Christchurch's Free Theatre and Unitec architecture students for the Festival of Transitional Architecture with a light installation piece called Under the Fale.
The group will be honoured at the Vodafone Pacific Music Awards ceremony on Thursday June 9, at the Vodafone Events Centre in Manukau.