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Lifetime Achiever Generous of Investment in Whanau Ora

Lifetime Achiever Generous of Investment in Whanau Ora

Earlier this month, Maori Party's Te Tai Tonga and Christchurch based candidate, Ngaire Button, said she was rapt local hero, Tihi Puanaki, was named Regional Winner of the Pride of NZ 2014, Lifetime Achievement Award. Button is clearly delighted the regional award was this week progressed to national status.

"We in Canterbury have had the good fortune of Tihi being a long time resident here, and sharing her exuberant personality with us all," says Button.

Of Ngāti Hine descent, Tihi Puanaki has spent most of her life supporting young people to believe in themselves and leading scores of kapa haka performers on stages nationally and internationally.

The catalyst for what has become the norm for more than forty years has been recognised in her Lifetime Achievement award at this year's Pride of New Zealand Awards.

Crediting Ms Puanaki with literally transforming the lives of hundreds of young people through her inspirational teaching, Mrs Button also acknowledged her outstanding effort as an advocate and practitioner of being a kapa haka performer, writer, advocate, teacher, instructor, composer, choreographer, judge and speaker.

Maori Party Leader Te Ururoa Flavell also congratulated the Pride of New Zealand Awards recipient, Tihi Puanaki but added she is a fierce operator, that accepts nothing less than 100% in every area of her influence.

Adding, "there are don't mess with me type wahine like Tihi Puanaki in every Maori community but they're equally generous with their time and unconditional love for whanau, so they are more than entitled to call the shots and establish the playing field from the get go."

"The common denominator for wahine like Tihi is their overwhelming generosity to constantly invest time, knowledge and skills back into the whanau. They know Whanau Ora is the currency of any community and we should be wholly grateful for more and more wahine like Tihi to be influential amongst us," says Flavell.


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