Exceptional rangatahi recognised

Activities and a moving awards ceremony brought together twenty exceptional care-experienced young people for The Prime Minister's Oranga Tamariki Awards.

Published on
13 Dec 2018

A budding lawyer, an aspiring doctor, a classical singer and community leaders were some of the rangatahi honoured by the Prime Minister at The Prime Minister’s Oranga Tamariki Awards (previously the William Wallace Awards) on Tuesday 4 December 2018.

The awards acknowledge young people in care who have overcome tough beginnings to succeed in their chosen fields.

PMs awards Henare
Award recipient Henare with Her Excellency Ms Laura Clarke.

A day of celebration

Award recipients and their supporters flew into Wellington bright and early, and hopped aboard a bus for a spot of sightseeing. 

Activities included a visit to the Weta Cave and Te Papa museum.

Thanks to the Vodafone New Zealand Foundation they also enjoyed a hosted lunch at the British High Commission with Oranga Tamariki Chief Executive Gráinne Moss, Minister for Children Hon Tracey Martin and Her Excellency Ms Laura Clarke.

“It’s really amazing to be a part of this cool experience,” Outward Bound award recipient Henare said.

PMs awards group pic
Oranga Tamariki Chief Executive Gráinne Moss, Minister for Children Tracey Martin, award recipient Celeste and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

Recognised at the highest level

The award ceremony was held at Parliament.

Prime Minister Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern said, “It really is my honour to be here today for these awards.

“You have left me feeling challenged, privileged, inspired and motivated. You have left me feeling like the lucky one, that I have been given the honour of having these awards in my name. The honour is truly mine to be associated with you.”

Award recipients received monetary scholarships worth up to $3,000 to help them pursue their dreams. This year award recipients will be offered opportunities to further develop their skills and talents through tailored work or life experiences.

Showcasing talents

The day offered plenty of inspiration to all who attended – sponsors, social workers, supporters, caregivers, and the young people themselves. 

It was a showcase of talented care-experienced young people who all demonstrated tremendous accomplishment despite the challenges they have faced.

The ceremony was care-experienced led – from the MC Renee Porter, to the guest speaker Injy Johnstone, William Wallace Award 2017 Winner Jessica Rayner, and rap artists Cleveland, Hoepo and Josh.

Bright future ahead

“All twenty of you are absolutely incredible and you have power in you that will drive your success now and into the future. I’m so excited to see what your future will hold,” Chief Executive Gráinne Moss said.

“A big big thanks to the incredible adults that have helped you on your journey. They have been your support crew and will continue to help you reach your dreams.”

“You knock it out of the park and make New Zealand an even better place to live.”

The awards were made possible thanks to the generosity of sponsors including Vodafone New Zealand Foundation, Youth Horizons, Open Home Foundation, Outward Bound, Fostering Kids New Zealand, Sysdoc, Kiistone, GFS and Barnardos.