2020 Award Recipients

Horowhenua Civic Honours Awards 2020.

Outstanding voluntary community service was recognised at the Horowhenua Civic Honours Awards on Tuesday 17 November 2020. 

The Horowhenua District Council annual event was held at Te Takeretanga o Kura-hau-pō and awards were presented by Mayor Bernie Wanden, Mayoress Sharon Wanden and councillors. 

Civic Honours Awards

Civic Honours awards were presented to: 

Dean Thomas – Dean Thomas has been an integral part of the Levin College Old Boys Club for decades, serving as a coach, manager, committee member and club statistician.

His dedication is second-to-none. He has managed the Premier team for 27 years, and team coaches describe him as a ‘club warrior who is the first to arrive and the last to leave’. To all who know him, he is a humble man with a heart of gold.

Dean also looks after the club’s statistics and keeps track of player game counts so the club can acknowledge player milestones such as blazer games, 50 game badges and centurions. This is vitally important for the club’s history, and Levin College Old Boys has grown into a proud family club with lots of players earning their blazers and 50 game badges, and even the right to call themselves club centurions. This is very special accolade for those players that wouldn’t have been possible without Dean personally taking on the statistician role.

Dean has been a life member of the club for over a decade, as well as being awarded ‘Best Non-Playing Club Member’ at this year’s Club Prizegiving.

He was also acknowledged as a Grassroots Hero during the COVID-19 lockdown for his outstanding dedication to the club.

Peter Dyer – Peter Dyer has been a valued member of the Levin Citizens Advice Bureau for many years, and has filled executive roles within the Bureau for most of that time.

He is the Levin Bureau’s longest serving president, and continued to serve as a valuable member of the board after stepping down from his role as president when he had reached the maximum allowable term of office.

Peter also plays a vital role as the Bureau’s training and induction officer, where his years of experience are put to great use.

Furthermore, Peter is very active in Grey Power and Age Concern, where once again his life experience is used to maximum effect. He is much respected and admired for the boundless enthusiasm and energy he devotes to these organisations.

Peter has worked diligently for the benefit of the people of Horowhenua for many years, and is familiar to many as a passionate and hard-working advocate for older people.

While Peter has never sought recognition for his outstanding voluntary contribution, it would be difficult to think of anyone more deserving of acknowledgement.

Garry Good – Garry has served as a teacher, principal, and university advisor for almost 50 years. During this time, he has actively improved the educational environment, and has mentored many others in the delivery of excellence in education.

Garry served as a Councillor for Horowhenua District Council from 2004 to 2016, holding the positon of Deputy Mayor twice. He sat on many external and internal committees, including the Hearings Committee, Grants Committee, Horowhenua Library Trust, Creative NZ and Community Wellbeing Executive. His diplomatic, honest and frank approach won the respect of all who worked with him.

Garry volunteers countless hours serving trusts, charities and organisations that benefit our community, in particular using his expertise from the education sector to improve learner outcomes.

He became a member of the HLC board in 2005, and has served as board chair since 2008.  He was instrumental in establishing HLC at its purpose built learning facility in Liverpool Street, where students are thriving.

From 2008 to 2016, Garry served on the board of the Life Education Trust, and from 2010 to 2019 he was a member of Education Horowhenua, a forum established to oversee and coordinate implementation of the Horowhenua Education Strategy. He was a key driver of initiatives such as He Whare Manaaki, the teen parenting unit at Waiopehu College, the establishment of Life to the Max youth coordinator positions, the Pacific Learners initiative and House of Science, to name a few.

Garry’s expertise in the education sector and governance experience was called upon again in 2016, becoming first a board member and then Deputy Chair of the Horowhenua College Board of Trustees, where he has been instrumental in building and facility upgrades at the college.

Garry received a Civic Honour for Community Affairs and Services to Education.

Therase Apatu – Therase possesses a deep social conscience and a passion for helping those facing hardship and deprivation.

While serving on the Horowhenua Strengthening Families Local Management Group and as Social Worker in 2014, Therase recognised some children were missing out on the joy of getting a Christmas present through no fault of their own.

She led a team of volunteers determined to provide gifts to children who would otherwise miss out. This project evolved into ‘Fill a Shoebox’. Gifts for children of all ages are gathered and matched to young people nominated by community services and groups.

The initiative grew rapidly, from meeting its target of delivering gift parcels to 200 children in its first year to delivering 1600 parcels in 2019, a mammoth effort which has brightened the lives of thousands of Horowhenua children.

Therase’s determination, enthusiasm and organisational skills drove this project to the success it is today. She mobilised community groups, gathered business support, and received donations from schools, workplaces and individuals, as well as  arranging an army of volunteers to ensure the precious parcels were delivered.

Therase has also served for many years as a volunteer, committee member and chairperson for the annual Children’s Day event at Levin Adventure Park. Every year, hundreds of families benefit from this free day of fun activities to celebrate our children and young people.

Her volunteer service doesn’t end there. In 2018, Therase saw another need in the community and launched ‘Bare Essentials’ to distribute hygiene products to women experiencing financial hardship.

Special Civic Honour:

A special Civic Honour was presented to Darryl Small before the ceremony in the days before his passing following a battle with cancer. At the ceremony, Darryl’s wife Glennis Small and daughter Kim were invited to the stage in public acknowledgement of Darryl’s contribution to the community.

Darryl Small – Darryl was known as an active community man, who would simply always be there to support and assist in keeping organisations and groups on an even keel both financially and governing wise.

Over many years, Darryl volunteered his time willingly for various organisations and trusts, and as a chartered accountant, he would often be asked to take on the treasurer role – not always the most sought-after role, but he would do it willingly and competently.

Darryl joined the Levin Little Theatre in 1991, and in his early time with the theatre was an avid participant both onstage and back stage. He immediately joined the committee and became the treasurer in 1995, and was still doing that role until he passed away. As with many of Darryl’s contributions to this community it was never done to seek the limelight but to support and ensure they survived financially and operated in a business-like manner.

Those of us who have been in this town a while will know what a huge community project the establishment of the Donnelly Park Hockey Turf was. Darryl was a foundation development member for that project and has been a trustee of the Horowhenua Sports Turf Trust since its inception in 2000.

Another trust which benefited from Darryl’s generosity of time, was the Kids In Sports Trust, for which Darryl was on the board for the last three years, Darryl had also been on the Fairfield School Board of Trustee for six years, and took on the role of treasurer.

In addition, Darryl had been involved in setting up the Heritage Horowhenua Charitable Trust for the last three years and once the trust was formed in February this year, he became a trustee.

Arguably, one of Darryl’s most passionate roles he took on was with the Levin Cosmopolitan Club which he joined as a member in 1993. Not being one to stand back, in 1997 he accepted a nomination to join the Club’s Executive and in 2011 he took this up a notch by taking on the role of President, which he held for six years until 2017. Darryl was made a Life Member of the club in 2018.

Darryl’s contribution to this community has been immense over many years and it was extremely fitting and apt that we could recognise that before his passing. His contribution will not be forgotten.

Certificates of Recognition

Certificates of Recognition were awarded to:

Tony and Yvonne Green – Tony and Yvonne are were recognised or Services to the Community and Religious Affairs.

Both Tony and Yvonne have been volunteers at the Levin Baptist Adult Day Club for more than 50 years. They are described as the epitome of kindness, decency and selflessness. They are tireless volunteers with wonderful attitudes, who are always ready to lend a helping hand.

Tony is a member of the team that sets up Adult Day Care, including preparing the hall for bowls, games and the day’s activities. Once set up is complete, Tony begins his regular rounds to pick up attendees. While this is happening, Yvonne is busy in the kitchen, being the games coordinator, or organising the next activity. She wears many hats at the centre and is known as the ‘go-to’ person for absolutely anything and everything.

Tony and Yvonne who also provide mentoring for the young and not-so-young who are in need of support, advice and understanding without judgement.

They are a perfect team. Those who have benefited from their dedication to others describe them as ‘a pleasure to know’ and an example of integrity, reliability and trustworthiness that can inspire us all.

Christine and Gerry Bennett – Chris and Gerry Bennett epitomise the people in the community we should all aspire to be. They give without wanting reward; they appreciate that all people are different and treat everyone with compassion and dignity; they are sensitive towards all cultures; they always greet others with a warm smile; and they have a sense of humour that brightens everyone’s day.

Chris and Gerry have been volunteers for the Horowhenua Health Shuttle since 2008.

They are a dynamic duo and stand out for their unwavering commitment to this invaluable service. With Gerry at the wheel and Chris as his support crew, they are appreciated by passengers for their caring approach and for going the extra mile. Chris and Gerry are one of the crews that take the early morning run, which departs Levin at 6am. They will often also take the 5:00pm run out of Palmerston North. Nothing is too much trouble for the couple, who often deliver passengers to their home in the cold winter months instead of taking them to the health centre where they would have to find their own ride home.

Chris and Gerry are the first to offer help if others are not able to work their rostered run, and are described as ‘the most caring couple anyone would have the pleasure to meet’. Gerry often shares his expertise with others in the use of the shuttle hoist and management of passengers with wheelchairs. His instructions are clear and concise and ensure that passengers are boarded safely, with dignity and compassion.

Chris and Gerry are very worthy recipients of a Certificate of Recognition.

Linda Lake – Linda’s selflessness, hard work and concern for others has meant the difference between having food on the table and going hungry for those in our community who face the greatest need.  

Recognising a need in the community and not wanting to see children and young people go hungry, Linda started a food rescue and distribution initiative from her home. She began rescuing food that would otherwise have gone to waste from supermarkets and food producers to distribute to those in need. The operation grew and so did the need.

By 2019, the initiative had evolved into ‘Te Awahou Kai’, which is now based in Whyte Street Foxton. Linda is at the helm as the coordinator, with a support crew of approximately 15 volunteers. As the coordinator, Linda organises the fundraising, volunteers, food rescue and distribution. She sources food from her network of connections, and her success in this is illustrated by securing contributions of a staggering 1 ton of rice and 6 tons of tomato sauce.

Linda’s food sources include a hugely supportive Foxton community and producers as far away as the Manawatu, Hawkes Bay and Wellington. The outreach is just as extensive with supplies delivered locally and as far as Ōtaki, Eltham, Dannevirke and the Woodville area.

Linda and the team also run ‘Hampers for Christmas’, providing hampers at a time when something special is most appreciated; and Unity in the Community. which directs new and second hand products to those in need.

Linda received a Kiwibank Local Hero Award 2019. Known as a trusted and hard-working hero in the Te Awahou community, she is humble and insists that it is the volunteers that make it happen.

Brenda Kean – Brenda has been an active member of the Horowhenua community for over 40 years, taking on executive roles with the Levin Parents Centre, Levin Pony Club and Levin Riding for the Disabled.

Joining the Levin Parents Centre in the early 1980s, Brenda prepared couples for childbirth and parenting, first as the Antenatal Coordinator and then as Coordinator at the Levin Maternity Hospital. A move to Pittsburgh, USA for a year led Brenda to become a qualified Antenatal Instructor. She brought back a wealth of new ideas and knowledge to share.

Brenda dedicated many years to helping young people achieve their goals as a teacher, careers teacher, and transition-to-work teacher at Waiopehu College. She also coached hockey and mentored students who needed extra support. Later, Brenda worked on the Gateway Project, which supported students who struggled in class and needed a practical ‘on the job’ learning environment.

A keen and accomplished horse rider, Brenda served The Levin Pony Club as instructor and secretary. Later, when the Ōhau and Levin Pony Clubs amalgamated, she became the club’s President.

Towards the end of her teaching career, Brenda’s expertise with horses and helping people who need extra support led her to Levin Riding for the Disabled.  RDA works to improve riders’ mental skills, physical strength, coordination and confidence. Before long, Brenda was leading sessions of her own while looking at improvements, efficiencies and rider safety. She worked tirelessly to provide structured goals to measure the riders’ progress. Brenda is the life breath of RDA. She is kind, cheerful and organises everyone with precision.

Lynne McKenzie – Lynne became a member of Horowhenua Breathe Easy Support Group in 2013 and was elected onto the committee in 2014. In 2016 Lynne was elected as President of the group and remains in this positon today. Breathe Easy provides support, information and social interaction for people living with any kind of respiratory condition. Lynne’s impact on the group was immediate through volunteering to help in any way she could from welcoming members, to assisting with morning teas and transport. As chairperson, Lynne shows great leadership bringing energy and enthusiasm into the group, meetings and outings. Her organisational skills and leadership are greatly valued by the group.

Not stopping there, Lynne is also a volunteer at House of Science Horowhenua, picking up and dropping off science resources to schools across the district. Without the generosity of volunteers, this educational initiative would not be the success it is today.

Another group which has benefited from Lynne’s organisational skills is Horowhenua Grey Power. Lynne became a member in 2008 and in 2013 was elected to the positon of secretary, until 2018. The President of Grey Power notes Lynne as being invaluable as a secretary who supported him and the committee meticulously.

Horowhenua Youth Excellence Scholarships

The Council’s 2020 Horowhenua Youth Excellence Scholarships were presented to 12 young people.

These acknowledge excellence in academic subjects, arts and culture, community service, and sport, by young people aged between 12 and 24.

The $250 scholarships primarily acknowledge excellence, but also provide a small financial contribution and encourage local young people to strive to achieve their goals and dreams.

Horowhenua Youth Excellence Scholarships recipients:

Renee Smith - Academia

Renee has been a student at Horowhenua College for the last five years and over this time has shown herself to be an excellent scholar with a very good work ethic. In 2020 Renee completed a very successful year as Deputy Head Girl where she displayed excellent leadership skills.

Renee is a high academic achiever and is on track to achieve NCEA Level 3 with excellence endorsement. Previously in 2019 she also gained her NCEA Level 2 with excellence endorsement and at the same time gained three merit course endorsements and one excellence endorsement.

In her senior years, Renee has focused on the sciences and has become very proficient in biology, physics and chemistry. Renee’s science talents were recognised when she was chosen to represent Horowhenua College at the Otago University Advanced School Sciences Academy. Renee was also chosen as a participant at the Sir Paul Callaghan Eureka Young Science Leaders event.

Renee is an active member of the Student Volunteer Army having logged 76 hours of service. She has collected for Heart Foundation, Daffodil Day and local Foodbanks.

Renee is planning to use her scholarship toward the costs of attending university.

Kate Nicholson - Academia

Kate Nicolson is a top scholar and a very motivated Year 13 student at Waiopehu College. She has enjoyed all that her college years have offered, always working hard to achieve outstanding results.

Kate’s academic ability has been recognised with Academic Dux awards in every year at college to date.

In 2018, Kate achieved NCEA Level 1 with an excellence endorsement earning subject endorsements in every class. In 2019 Kate achieved NCEA Level 2, again with an excellence endorsement. Although the 2020 NCEA results have not yet been published Kate has enough credits to qualify for a Level 3 Excellence Endorsement.

Kate has shown good leadership skills in serving as both the secretary and treasurer of the Waiopehu College Student Executive.

Kate has been involved in many co-curricular activities including netball, football, surfing and stage challenge. Kate is also a proficient piano player, having played since she was five years old.  More recently she gained a distinction in Grade 2 Piano Music Theory and merit in Grade 1 Piano Music Performance.

Kate is planning to use her scholarship toward university accommodation costs.

Carter Maddock - Academia

Carter is a capable and conscientious student at Horowhenua College who works hard to achieve excellent results. Carter’s work ethic and motivation have seen her consistently achieve academic results to a very high standard.

Carter has achieved NCEA Level 1 & Level 2 endorsed with excellence. In 2019 she also achieved two courses endorsed with excellence, History and Social Studies, and two courses endorsed with merit - Mathematics and English. At the 2019 college prizegiving Carter was awarded first place for Level 2 English, and placed second for both Social Studies and History.

Carter was selected for the 2020 School Prefect team where she led the Social Action portfolio.

This year Carter was also nominated for an HDC Youth Excellence Award in Community Service. Carter has a very well developed community conscience, as shown with her voluntary service with a local foodbank, The Cancer Society, The Heart Foundation, Amnesty International and the Fill-a-Shoe Box Christmas project.

In 2020 Carter’s work as a volunteer student leader for the 40 hour Famine earnt her a World Vision Student Leadership Award and a Certificate of Recognition for Horowhenua College.

Carter is planning to use her scholarship toward the costs of attending Victoria University next year.

Ethan Roentgen - Academia

Ethan is a Year 13 Prefect at Horowhenua College who has won the Top Academic Scholar Award every year since his Year 9.

Ethan has shown himself to be an extraordinary academic scholar and high achieving student across all areas of school life.

Ethan has achieved NCEA Level 1 and Level 2 endorsed with excellence, earning 102 excellence credits across subjects in 2018 and 90 in 2019. There is no doubt that he will be extremely successful in NCEA Level 3 and University Entrance.

This year, in addition to sitting his NCEA Level 3 exams, Ethan has also entered five scholarship exams. His college Principal commented that this is a significant academic challenge and it is very rare to have a student with such exemplary academic talent.

Over the last 3 years Ethan has entered the International Education Perfect Academic Competitions winning several Emerald, Gold and Silver awards in several academic categories.

Ethan’s participation in these Global Education Perfect Competitions was not only to ascertain his own academic capabilities but to also test himself against other high achieving academic students internationally. In both of these competitions, Ethan has proven himself to be amongst the academic elite worldwide.

Ethan is planning to use his scholarship to help pay for tertiary education related costs.

Rawinia Lloyd - Academia

Rawinia Lloyd is a dedicated Year 13 student at Manawatu College with the drive and determination to achieve at the highest levels. Rawinia is motivated, very well organised and focussed on her goals.

In 2017 Rawinia was awarded junior dux and in subsequent years achieved NCEA Level 1 with merit and NCEA Level 2 with excellence. This year, Rawinia is also aiming for NCEA Level 3 with excellence.

At Manawatu College Rawinia adeptly held several leadership positions. In 2020 she was proudly elected as Deputy Head Student as well as undertaking roles as academic captain and student rep for the school Board of Trustees.

Rawinia has always been interested in trying new things and has enjoyed playing a wide range of school sports including volleyball, hockey, soccer, basketball and netball.

Rawinia has a very bright future ahead of her. She would like to continue to inspire and encourage other young Māori women to pursue educational pathways and gain academic success.

Rawinia is planning to use her scholarship towards accommodation or stationary costs in her first year of tertiary study.

Samuel Anderson - Sport

Sam is a keen sportsman who continuously excels at all sports he plays. In both 2018 and 2019 he won the esteemed Horowhenua College Top Sportsman Trophy.

Sam’s outstanding cricketing talent has seen him playing for the Horowhenua College First XI Cricket team since his Year 9 where in 2018 he was also awarded the captaincy. Sam has been selected for the Horowhenua/Kapiti Under 17 representative teams for the past 2 years where in 2019 he won the Horowhenua/Kapiti Emerging Talent Player award.

Sam has also shown great skill and ability when playing for the Horowhenua College First XI Hockey Team. As with cricket, he has been a member of this team since his Year 9 and was captain in the 2019 and 2020 seasons. He has also enjoyed considerable success with this team, winning the Manawatu second division competition in 2019.

Sam’s sporting endeavours have also extended to a passion for indoor bowls. He has developed these skills to an extremely high level gaining several titles in the lower North Island. He won selection to the Southern Zone Under 18 team where in 2017 he also secured the captaincy. Sam’s achievements were widely celebrated when he was placed second in the New Zealand Indoor Bowls Open Triples Championships in 2019.

Sam will use this scholarship toward sports fees at Otago University next year.

Jamie Harper - Community Service

Jamie Harper has completed five successful years at Horowhenua College where in his Year 13 he was a Social Action Prefect and proudly chosen as Horowhenua College’s head boy.

Jamie is a conscientious and very capable student where as well as academic success, he is also well known and respected for his service to the college and our wider community.

Jamie actively looks for opportunities to participate in acts of service volunteering for several charity organisations including the Heart Foundation, Cancer Society and Fill-a-Shoebox.

In 2020 Jamie was a student leader in the 40 Hour Famine and received an Outstanding Leadership Award from World Vision for his part in organising the event.

Jamie has well developed leadership capabilities where his peers voted him onto the College House Council and Student Council. Jamie was also selected for the Horowhenua Youth Voice working alongside the Horowhenua District Council.

In 2019 Jamie was proudly selected to be the National Party Youth MP for Otaki. In this role, Jamie worked closely with the local MP and participated in events that included speaking in the parliament debating chamber and discussing issues of local and national importance with government officials. This  included members of parliament.

Jamie will attend Victoria University next year and is planning to use his scholarship towards the cost of his studies.

Tonga Ngaluafe - Community Service

Tonga Ngaluafe is a dedicated student and the 2020 Horowhenua College  Head Girl. Tonga is an extraordinary young person with all-round abilities that also saw her nominated for a Horowhenua District Council Youth Excellence Award for sport.

Tonga is a passionate advocate for her Tongan Culture and is an active member of our Pasifika Fusion group. In 2019 and 2020 Tonga was elected as Pasifika leader for the group, this being a testament to her hours of encouragement, participation and support.

Although Tonga has been extremely busy with her own academic, sporting and cultural pursuits she is always active in community service. At Horowhenua College she has served as a Student Librarian and on the Student House Council. In the community she has worked for the Heart Foundation, Daffodil Day, Multiple Sclerosis and the Samoan Measles organisations. In 2018 Tonga worked hard to earn her Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award.

In 2019 Tonga was the driving force behind the White Ribbon campaign and promotion in college. As a white Ribbon ambassador Tonga linked with the national presenters, organised transport, linked with college management and organised details and information for the school assembly.

In 2020 Tonga was elected into the prefect team of her college being awarded the Well-being Portofolio. During COVID-19 Tonga co-designed a well-being website that was extremely successful in providing a daily focus for students as a way of staying connected during a challenging time.

Tonga is intending to attend Otago University next year and is planning to use her scholarship towards the cost of her studies there.

Aaliyah Wicks - Arts & Culture

Aaliyah is a talented actress and visual performer who has performed in a range of drama and theatre productions since a very young age. She has a huge passion for the performing arts where she has dedicated much time and energy in developing her skills. Her performances have been enjoyed by a large number of audiences that have appreciated the great talent she possesses.

Her achievements over the years have been many and varied. Her involvement in a great number of local shows and productions have seen her assume roles that vary from back stage crew through to lead roles on stage. These include a

Lead roles in the Levin Performing Arts Society’s “Oliver” production as well as Horowhenua College’s “Hairpsray”. A Kaea role in one of her school’s kapa haka group as well as being part of part of a line band are also testimony to her wide range of skills and versatility in this space. 

Formal recognition of her skills and talent have also been evident over the years with many school and college awards being achieved by her. “Most Promising Drama Student’, “ The Sarah McMillan Award for Most Improved Vocalist” and “The Trophy For Excellence in Performing Arts” are but a few examples of this.

Aaliyah has indicated a desire to continue to develop her skills in this area and would eventually like to study at Toi Whakaari in Wellington or the Broadcasting School in Christchurch. I am sure that both of these organisations will welcome her with open arms.

Aaliyah would like to use the scholarship to help pay for more acting classes.

Caroline Vehikite - Arts & Culture

Caroline is a very passionate advocate for her Pasifika culture. As she has progressed through her College years, she has also been a leading light in her college’s Pasifika group where she has ultimately evolved as the group’s leader.

The Pasifika group has been very active in the Regional Pasifika Fusion competition in recent years. Caroline has been very involved with this and as a senior student has led the group to many and varied achievements. The most prized award at Pasifika Fusion is the Cultural Performance trophy. In 2017 the Horowhenua College Pasifika Group won this trophy. In 2018 and 2019 the group was placed second.

Within the Pasifika Fusion competition there are also a range of individual awards given out. Caroline was awarded first in Choir in 2016, first in The Spiritual Award in 2017, first in Quiz in 2018 and second in Science in 2019.

Caroline also serves her community well in other areas. She has a regular

involvement in the Pasifika Celebration Day and quickly volunteers for public collections such as Heart Foundation, Daffodil Day, Multiple Sclerosis and Samoan Measles. Caroline also helps organise other local Pasifika community events where large numbers of our Pasifika community come together and celebrate their culture.

In 2020 Caroline was chosen to be a Prefect at Horowhenua College. A major responsibility of this position has been to support and develop cultural activities at her college where she has done outstandingly well. One of the significant initiatives that Caroline has been involved with developing is a Pasifika student mentoring and support group called He Vaka Moana. This was launched in July 2020 with members of our local Fale Pasifika and numerous parents in

attendance as well as members of the college Board of Trustees and staff. This was a very successful event and the support that this is providing Pasifika students at her college is significant.

Caroline would like to use the scholarship to help cover accommodation costs at university.

Lizzie MacDonald - Arts & Culture

Lizzie MacDonald is an exceptional dancer with big dreams. Lizzie started dancing in 2014 with the Kate Martin School of Dance following her dream of being a contemporary dance teacher.

Lizzie’s determination and commitment to dance has brought great success completing all of her dance exams with top marks and distinction. These include Ballet, Jazz and Contemporary Dance. Lizzie dances both codes in elite competitive performance troupes for more than 9 hours per week.

Over the last 2 years Lizzie has taken a leadership role at the dance school,  offering her creative skills as a dance teacher and assistant dance teacher. Lizzie is responsible and well respected by her peers. She acts as a good role model and mentor to many preschool and junior dance students.

In addition to many hours of dancing and teaching Lizzie diligently helps in other areas of the dance school operations which include maintaining costumes, managing theatre sets and general cleaning.

In 2021 Lizzie is intending to study for a Te Aahua Performing Arts Diploma and a UNITEC Auckland Performance & Screen Arts Contemporary Dance Degree.

Lizzie plans to use the scholarship to either pay for her final ballet exam or to attend an audition at UNITECH in Auckland.

Rihara Norgrove-Rangihuna - Arts & Culture

From a young age Rihara has been passionate about te reo Maori, kapa haka, tikanga and kawa. He aspires to be a teacher of te reo Maori and has been an outstanding kaea in both his primary and intermediate school years, modelling exceptional leadership and talent.

Rihara has been working hard to upskill in all things Maori and now supports a group of students from across Levin who are involved with the Taiohi Kapa Haka group. He has also supported this by learning to play the guitar. Rihara volunteers his weekends for Kapa Haka Noho.

Rihara coaches and mentors young kaea in kapa haka, mau rākau, and te reo. He is a highly regarded within Muaūpoko Iwi and by Kaumatua Marokapa Williams. He has been given special privileges to speak on the pae multiple times at school and performed a wero at Kawiu Marae for the Intermediate school noho.

Rihara was awarded male kaea at the Horowhenua Te Ahurei festival.

In his last year at Levin Intermediate School Rihara was awarded the prestigious 'Tutangata' trophy for his outstanding effort and contribution.

Rihara’s former Principal offered the followed testament, “I cannot speak more highly of this young man, not only is he talented, he is humble, kind and thoughtful of others, he sees good in others and is aiming to give back to those who have supported him.”

Rihara plans to either save the scholarship for future educational pathways, to help buy a new guitar or to use it for noho related costs.