Tonight's award for Māori Sports Umpire/Referee of the Year was presented to New Zealand hockey umpire Amber Church (Te Aitanga-a-Māhaki)
Rugby referee Glen Warrick Jackson (Ngāi Tahu) and cricket umpire Kathy Cross (Ngāti Maniapoto) were also finalists in this category.
27-year-old Church was chosen as one of 16 women to umpire at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
In 2015 she was awarded the HNZ 2015 Female Umpire of the Year (awarded in June 2016)
During her time as an official New Zealand hockey umpire, she has achieved many milestones including the following;
- Umpired at World League Round 3 (Semi-Finals) Antwerp, Belgium- Appointed to umpire gold medal play-off -Korea (1) vs Netherlands (2)- 20th June-5 July 2015
- Umpired at Ford National Hockey League – Whangarei, New Zealand- appointed to umpire a semi-final- Sept 2015
- Dec 2015- Appointed to XXXl Olympic Games, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil- 6-19 August 2016
- Umpired NZ vs Canada test match- Hamilton, New Zealand-28th March 2016
- Umpired at Hawkes Bay Cup (8 Nations)- Napier, New Zealand- Umpired 4 matches including umpire of bronze medal play-off- Australia vs China-April 2016
- Upgraded from International umpire (Grade 1) to International umpire (World Development Panel) - April 2016
- Umpires Manager- National under 18 tournament, Palmerston North, NZ – July
- 2015/2016 Sport Gisborne Tairawhiti Sports Official of the Year- August 2016
- Umpired at XXXl Olympic Games, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil- 6-19 August 2016