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Parekura Horomia Speech: Sports Awards

Parekura Horomia Speech Notes - Ngati Kahungunu Iwi Sports Awards 2005

It is great to be back at the Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Sports Awards again. Congratulations Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi and He Oranga Poutama on yet another awards event.

I am reminded of the magic of working collaboratively and inclusively, and what relationships like your one can produce.

He Oranga Poutama was instigated more than a couple of years ago, when I was general manager of the Community Employment Group, in partnership with Te Puni Kōkiri, Hillary Commission and Auahi Kore. I am rapt to see the positive outcomes from He Oranga Poutama continuing today.

The benefits from sports are immense for our people. I need only look to home, at the success of the Ngāti Porou East Coast rugby team, now this year hasn't necessarily been one of their better ones, but they were nominated for the sports team award in 2001. This nomination and the team's increased profile had a tremendously positive effect on our region. We were and still are and I suspect always will be inspired by their success, proud to be Ngāti, proud to be from the Coast.
We don’t need to look far to see the immense benefits generated in this community through sports. For example, the 2004 winner of the Māori Sport Coach award – Chubb Tangaroa hails from Ngāti Kahungunu. Sholto Taylor, also from Ngāti Kahungunu was last year’s finalist for the Sportsperson award.

To the 2005 nominees, finalists and winners, remember we are all winners here today. I acknowledge your dedication, hard work and the contribution you make to your whānau, hapū and iwi.

It is important for us to take hold of the potential generated through sport, and use it to have Māori succeed as Māori, whoever they are, wherever they are, and whatever sport they are participating in.
There are also now professional careers in sport; this is great news for Māori.

Look at the international careers forged by Tiger Woods, the Williams’s sisters and Jonah. And there are Māori at that level too, like Michael Campbell, Benji Marshall, Piri Weepu, and Daniel Carter who was being hailed in the UK, as the world’s best ever first five. There are also the calibre of people like Leilani Joyce, world squash champ in 2000, Temepara Clarke and Niniwa Roberts-Lange.

Even Stu Forster from here in the Bay was there to help our Māori team beat the Lions in Fiji.
It is just that sort of Māori sporting potential and success that lays behind our $1.7million Sport and Culture project.

The focus of our Takitimu region’s Sport and Culture project is to provide support for sustainable activities and events.

This year, we have had the opportunity to support over ten initiatives in Takitimu, including the establishment of sporting bodies like Māori Hockey and Softball. We also supported the organisation of this year’s ‘waka wars’, the inaugural Ngāti Kahungunu Inter-Marae Waka Ama Regatta. This event was a great success involving 135 paddlers from ages 7 and up.

I would like to close with my congratulations to the Hawkes Bay team on getting into the first division. It is just a shame that Ngāti Porou are not there with you – not this time anyway!

Ka mutu

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