Akira Ioane has been announced as the successful recipient of the Te Tama-ā-Ranginui Junior Māori Sportsman of the Year award at the 25th annual Māori Sports Awards.
Ioane went up against four other notable Māori athletes including last year’s winner Tai Wynyard and his younger brother Rieko Ioane.
This is not the first time Ioane has been recognised for his sporting success.
Te Kāea reporter Raniera Harriman spoke to Ioane in October about his Auckland team seeking revenge against Canterbury in the ITM Cup Premiership Final following their defeat to Canterbury in round three. Akira saying then, "There's definitely a score to settle."
That determination saw Ioane named Auckland ITM Cup Player of the Year at the 2015 Auckland Rugby Union Awards and has also been nominated for NZ Rugby Age Grade Player of the Year for the Steinlager Rugby Awards.
Ioane is blazing a trail on the New Zealand rugby scene, this year making his debut with the Blues in Super Rugby and the Māori All Blacks, as well as winning a world title with the New Zealand Under 20s.
Reporter Rewa Harriman did a story earlier in the year on Akira and his brother Rieko, and their parents - a former Manu Samoa player and a former New Zealand Black Fern.
Native Affairs caught up with the rising rugby stars, and their footy mad parents, who have quite a story to tell.