Topics: Education, Matariki

Tairāwhiti Men of the Year Awards

By Aroha Treacher
  • North Island: East Coast

The Tairāwhiti has recognised 10 outstanding men for the positive things they are doing in their community at the Tairāwhiti Men of the Year Awards. Men who have either turned their own lives around or are helping others to make change.

Ten men, each with their own story to tell, all nominated for the extraordinary work they do on the daily.

Tauawhi Mens Centre Coordinator, Tim Marshall says, “Unfortunately Tairāwhiti is known for a lot of negative statistics but we got some great stuff going on and we like to think that this is one of them.”

Phil Paikea is one of them, a former gang leader who turned his back on a life of violence and now helps others live violence-free.

Award recipient Phil Paikea says, “I was totally humbled by the nomination I wasn't prepared for it and just to be acknowledged in that way certainly spurs me on to carry on with the mahi."

Men from all different ages and from all walks of life that work hard.

Kiri Gilbert says, “It’s quite good because back in the homelands its gang orientated so for me to be a voice for our hometown and to influence people to jump on the waka and just start doing positive stuff it’s unreal I can't even explain haha.”

With the overall nomination of Man Of Year going to Henare Tahuri for being a role model, father and  leader within his community.

Supreme winner Henare Tahuri says, “I see these leaders from Te Tairāwhiti and everything that they are doing in the community here in Te Tairāwhiti and they do with mana, they're so professional and they do it because they care about the community.”

Now into its sixth year, the awards are a night of appreciation for all they do.

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