Often young people receive a lot of negative attention and we forget the tremendous input that they provide to the fabric of our community. Wharemako is a great example of a student doing just that.
The Award was presented at the TrustPower Tararua District Community Awards held at The Hub in Dannevirke.
Run in conjunction with the TrustPower Tararua District Community Awards, the TrustPower Youth Community Spirit Award recognises secondary school students’ service to the school and the community. The Award is jointly run by TrustPower and the Tararua District Council.
Local high schools were asked to recommend one student to be considered for the Award. The runner-up for this Award was Cheyenne Oosthuizen from Tararua College.
To be considered for the TrustPower Youth Community Spirit Award students had to have given service to school or community projects, treated others with care and respect and been a good ambassador for the school and the Tararua region.
TrustPower Community Relations Coordinator Suzi Luff says the TrustPower Youth Community Spirit Award is a wonderful opportunity to publicly acknowledge the work young people do to enrich their community.
“Often young people receive a lot of negative attention and we forget the tremendous input that they provide to the fabric of our community. Wharemako is a great example of a student doing just that,” says Suzi.
“Described as very humble, with a quiet nature, a strong and determined presence, Wharemako leads within his school, on the rugby field and in his community. Add to this that he succeeds as an academic, an athlete, a musician and as an artist – you can see why he is such a strong role model.
Within his kura, Wharemako is the student rep on the Board of Trustees, he has represented his kura at ANZAC Day services, and he leads the kapa haka group, which he is passionate about.
Out in the community, Wharemako volunteers at youth holiday programmes, open to all young people, where he assists with lessons on Maori tikanga. He attends Te Ahurei O Rangitane, an annual event for his iwi, where he partakes in debates and sports and he mentors troubled youth, close to him in age.
Wharemako has played representative rugby for Hawkes Bay and he is currently playing rugby for Dannevirke High School’s First Fifteen. And he’s a key part of a local horse trekking event which sees over 60 people trek over three days through tracks that his whanau have cut, to offer horse sports and a stay on a local marae as part of this memorable experience.
Wharemako attributes where he is now to his iwi, school and community and wants to give back. And this is where his aspiration for this community comes in: Wharemako is aiming towards strengthening the bond and cooperation between ethnicities to create a stronger and more prosperous community,” says Suzi.
For winning the Award Wharemako received a trophy, framed certificate and $250 prize money, with $250 being given to a community organisation of his choice. Wharemako chose to make the donation to St John Dannevirke.