Thursday 17th November 2022

Celebrating our Mana Pounamu recipients for 2022.

On Friday 28th October the Mana Pounamu, Young Achievers Award ceremony was held for the first time in over three years. Unable to be held due to the pandemic it was an amazing feeling to see everyone gathered together after so many years. Hundreds of people attended the event and John McGlashan was well represented with about 30 boys in attendance from Year 7-13.

The late Alva Kapa initiated the Mana Pounamu Young Achievers’ Awards in 2001. Mana Pounamu is a Kāi Tahu initiative supported by Kā Papatipu Rūnaka ki Arāiteuru, Otago Polytechnic, the University of Otago, Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, the Ministry of Education and the Otago Daily Times. It is perhaps the most coveted Māori award and draws in schools from around all of Otago.

But this award is about more than just a scholarship or leadership. As per the title- it is about mana. It is about recognising, affirming and raising the mana of our rangatahi. It celebrates their māoritanga and reminds them of how important and special that māoritanga is.

This year John McGlashan had two recipients. Max Porter (Year 11) was the recipient of the Teina award. He excels in all areas of school life. A strong academic, talented sportsman and keen musician, Max still finds time to help and support his community and school whenever he can. Most recently, Max has been involved in building the new Red-Woods Mountain Biking Track (Senduro), giving up his after school and weekend time to create something that will be used and appreciated by many. Max has also taken up the challenge this year of learning his reo. He has picked up the language at Year 11 level and is showing us all what hard work and dedication is as he makes excellent strides towards his NCEA Level 1 te reo. In doing so, Max is on his journey to know his iwi, his reo and his whakapapa.

The Tuakana Award was won by Ben Joseph (Year 13). Ben has an amazing list of sporting accomplishments, his most recent being a part of the 1st XV Rugby team who did incredibly well in their national competition.

We have been privileged to watch Ben grow in his role as a leader of te ao Māori in our school. These last few years in particular, Ben has been the key leader of teaching the school haka to junior students and has led full school haka at events such as our Matariki service and school exchanges. His efforts have seen him take the role of Māori Prefect for 2022. He has been a key figure in lifting mana Māori within the school and our community. Ben graduates Year 13 at the end of this year with the intent to study Law at the University of Otago.

Congratulations to our recipients and thank you to all the students and staff who attended to tautoko the mana of our boys and school. It was a truly inspirational night to be immersed in kaupapa Māori and see all the amazing talent from around the rohe. Next year the Mana Pounamu awards will be held during Matariki. We look forward to receiving all the whānau nominations of our rangatahi Māori.

For any whānau wishing to become more involved in kauapapa Māori at the school, we warmly invite you to become a part of the Māori and Pasifika Steering committee. You do not need to have any knowledge of reo or tikanga - just a wish to support the māoritanga and mana of your child and the school.