Matariki Awards highlights sporting stars

By Moana Makapelu Lee

Three honoured Māori sports athletes have been nominated for the Matariki Awards this weekend.

Lisa Carrington

2012 Olympic Gold medallist, Lisa Carrington (Ngāti Porou, Te Aitanga-a-Mahaki) heads to Rio De Janeiro packing an impressive international record.

In 2010 Lisa won gold in the women’s pairs K-2 1000 metres event at the World Regatta Cup in France, alongside teammate Teneale Hatton. In the same year, the pair also won three gold medals at the Oceania Canoe Championships in the K-2 and K-4 events.

In 2011 Lisa became the first NZ woman to win a canoeing championship title, after adding another gold medal to her expanding trophy cabinet in the women’s K-1 200-metre event at the Canoe Sprint Championship.  

A few more gold medals later, she made her debut at the 2012 London Olympics setting a new winning record in the semi-final of the K-1 200 metres event.

Recipient of the 2013 NZ Order of Merit and third time Māori Sportsperson of the Year, Lisa was also awarded the Inaugural Extraordinary Award for Best Female Sportsperson of the Past 25 Years.

Nehe Milner Skudder

A former rugby league player, Nehe began his professional sporting career in Sydney with the Canterbury Bulldogs under-20 Holden Cup side in 2009 and 2010. In 2011 he returned to NZ to play rugby union and debuted with local team Manawatū in the ITM Cup. A successful season in the ITM Cup campaign in 2014 saw him upgraded to the Hurricanes official squad for 2015.

Nehe made his debut for the All Blacks in 2015 in the Bledisloe Cup and was a key figure in the squad’s success at the 2015 RWC scoring the team’s first try in the RWC finals.

Jamie Joseph

A former rugby union player, Jamie played for the All Blacks side from 1992 to 1995 and later played for Japan. In 2003 he took up the role as assistant coach of the Wellington Lions.

In 2007 Jamie stepped up as head coach and lead the side to win consecutive domestic finals in 2008 and 2009.

Jamie joined the Highlanders in 2011 and in 2015 also coached the NZ Barbarians. After this season with the Highlanders, Jamie will take up the role of Head Coach for Japan’s national side.