The Melissa Wikaere memorial award ‘He ringa Kaingaki’ was presented to Desray Armstrong at the Hui-a-tau on Saturday night. The award acknowledges wahine toa who like Melissa have worked hard to not only ensure the success of productions but also support the kaupapa of Nga Aho Whakaari in growing Māori presence on screen.

“He Ringa Kaingaki” 
Melissa Wikaire Award .
I tīkina atu tēnei ingoa i te tupuna o Melissa i a Hineāmaru, takenga mai o tana karanga hapu matua o Ngati Hine. He rongonui ngā māra kūmara a Hineamaru, heoi ra na ona ringa ngaki i hua ai te kai. He rite tēnei ki te āhua o Melissa te maharatia nei e tātou, he momo ringa raupa whakatikatika i nga whakahaere e whaihua ai ngā mahi te manokotia, kia tutuki pai ai te kaupapa.
He ai ki te whakatauāki; “kāhore te kumara e kōrero mo tona reka.” 
Ki te whakaaro tatou ki a Melissa me mahara kē pea tatou; “kāhore he reka kūmara hei korerotanga mei kore he ringa kaingaki i te tipu i te tuatahi.”
Kia whakanuia tēnei āhua i te hunga ka whiwhi ki tenei tohu.

The name is sourced from Melissa’s ancestress Hineāmaru, eponymous forebear of her Ngati Hine hapu. The fame of Hineamaru’s kūmara gardens was legendary, as were the nurturing hands that ensured the harvest. It is same nature we remember in the Melissa we knew, hard working hands that nurtured every project making sure the little things were well done, so that the bigger dream came to fruition.
The proverb says, “ The kūmara does not speak of its own sweetness.”
When we think of Melissa maybe we should remember, “the kumara would have no sweetness to speak of, if there were no hands to nurture the tender plant in the first place.”
Let this quality always distinguish the recipient of this award.