Topics: Māori Sports Awards, Rugby

Nehe Milner-Skudder takes out Senior Māori Sportsman of the Year Award

By Kimiora Kaire-Melbourne, Tepara Koti

All Black sensation Nehe Milner-Skudder (Ngāti Porou, Tapuika) has won this year’s Te Tama-a-Tānenuiārangi award for Māori Sportsman of the Year at the 25th Māori Sports Awards.

He was one of five deserving finalists for the section, nominated alongside Trent Boult, Aaron Smith, Winston Reid and last year’s winner, Jason Wynyard.

It’s been a stellar year for Milner-Skudder who made debut for the world champion All Blacks squad against Australia on August 8.

He's a member of the Wellington-based Super Rugby team, The Hurricanes, who this year made the grand final of the Super Rugby Competition.  Following this, he then went on to become a stand-out player at the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England.

Native Affairs reporter Rewa Harriman did a story on the rugby star earlier in the year before he departed for the Rugby World Cup.

His success doesn't end there, having only worn the black jersey for a mere three months, Milner-Skudder has scored a total of eight tries in eight test matches, as well as those he gained at the World Cup.

Along with his focus and dedication to the sport he also has a passion for supporting up and coming generations inspired by him.  This was clear when Te Kāea reporter, Raniera Harrison approached him about making a young boy from Ruatōrea’s dream come true and Milner-Skudder was more than willing to go the extra mile for young Kuratīwaka.

After the All Blacks' huge victory at the Rugby World Cup, Milner-Skudder took it one step further and gifted his winning World Cup boots to Kuratīwaka, who got his number one dream to meet the star in person.

This is the first time the Ngāti Porou superstar has been named as a finalist for this prestigious award, which he humbly accepted in front of whānau, friends and his peers being honoured tonight for their efforts over the past year.