Te Whānau-a-Apanui - Ngāpuhi and Samoan athlete Rieko Ioane has been named Māori Sportsman of the Year winning the Te Tama-ā-Tānenuiarangi award. His award was accepted by his parents Eddie Ioane and Sandra Wihongi.
Enlisted to play for the All Black side for the Vista Northern Tour in 2016 at 19 years old, Ioane is the eighth youngest debutant to play for the All Blacks.
He also received international recognition when he won the World Rugby Break Through Player Award and was nominated as a finalist in the World Rugby Player of the Year Award.
Rugby runs in the family for this 20-year-old. Ioane is a member of the Auckland Blues Super 18 and plays alongside his brother Akira Ioane. It pays to mention his father Eddie Ioane played for Manu Samoa and his mother Sandra Wihongi played for the Black Ferns.
Ioane is also a recipient of the 2017 Te Tama-ā-Ranginui – Junior Māori Sportsman Award.
Finalists - Te Tama-ā-Tānenuiarangi – Senior Māori Sportsman Sponsored by Moana
Lawn Bowls Shannon McIlcroy (Ngāti Porou)
Softball Nathan Nukunuku (Ngāti Porou)
Rugby Reiko Ioane (Te Whānau a Apanui, Ngāpuhi)
Shearing John Kirkpatrick (Ngāti Porou)
Rieko Ioane feeling the "Wairua"