Award Celebrates Aotearoa’s Newest Public Holiday

The New Zealand Amateur Sport Association Inc. is pleased to announce that the inaugural Te Tohu Tiketike o Matariki award has been won by Ōtaki Surf Life-Saving Club Inc. (OSLSC). The winner of the inaugural award was announced last week by Association Patron, Andy Leslie, MNZM who convened the judging panel.

The award, decided in collaboration with Te Upoko o te Ika, Aotearoa’s first te reo Māori radio station, acknowledges a community sport organisation who has embraced te reo Māori as part of its kaupapa. The award also acknowledges National Volunteer Week (Te Wiki Tūao ā-Motu), with the winner reliant on volunteers to deliver competitive sport and lifeguard services to its local community.

Andy Leslie said that, “earlier this year, Ōtaki Surf Life-Saving Club Inc. (Te Puni Kaumaru o Ōtaki) based in Horowhenua-Kapiti, made their website bilingual, with content on their homepage now in both English and te reo Māori to better represent the local community. This was a significant change for the club and visible way for it to acknowledge the importance of te reo Māori as part of the community.”

Association Chairman Gordon Noble-Campbell said that the two runners-up to the award winner, Ngati Porou East Coast Rugby Football Union Inc. (NPEC) and Rangataua o Aotearoa Maori Martial and Cultural Arts Inc. (ROA) were both making a significant contribution to their local communities. “NPEC’s, whānau commitment to te reo Māori and culture, more specifically te reo o Ngāti Pōrou me ōna tikanga is of huge value to the community.” “We would also like to acknowledge ROA, which instructs mainly in te reo Māori, as it continues to provide a platform for the success of its students who serve their community in many different ways, with some achieving sporting success on the world stage.”

Adrian Tangaroa Wagner, General Manager of Te Upoko o te Ika said, “community sport is an important way for te reo Māori to become more familiar to a larger number of people, with both the winner and the runners-up demonstrating how this can become an integral part of our overall approach to building healthy communities through sport”.