Kirikiriroa rangatahi recognised for PMOT Award

Published: January 25, 2022

The achievements of two care-experienced rangatahi in Kirikiriroa were celebrated last month, as part of a special ceremony hosted at the University of Waikato.

Award recipients Brody Field left and Areta Cox right with local MP Jamie Strange centre
Award recipients Brody Field (left) and Areta Cox (right) with local MP Jamie Strange (centre).

Areta Cox and Brody Field were two of 50 young people nominated for a Prime Minister’s Oranga Tamariki (PMOT) Award in 2021.  

The rangatahi received their awards and gave speeches to thank their support teams at the event, which was organised by Oranga Tamariki kaimahi, including social workers Jacquie Dale and Ebin Mathew.  

"So many people helped to make this event special. It was exciting for Areta and Brody to mark the occasion with caregivers, friends and whānau who have shared in their journey,” says Areta’s social worker Jacquie.

PMOT Award recipient Areta Cox gives a speech
PMOT Award recipient Areta Cox gives a speech.

“The ceremony was a heartfelt one. It was a great occasion filled with positivity, happiness and emotion. This achievement has enhanced Brody’s mana and strengthened his wairua,” says Brody’s social worker Ebin. 

Oranga Tamariki acts as the kaitiaki organisation for PMOT Awards, which recognise the achievements and potential of young people in care.  

Thanks to our generous sponsors, we are able to provide recipients with scholarships valued from $3000 to nurture their interests, talents and skills.

Areta received a Te Rakahinonga Auaha – Creative Entrepreneur award, which is presented to young people doing well in the arts or creative fields, or who use art as part of work in the community.

PMOT story photo collage
Clockwise from top: Brody's certificate, a cake donated by Laura Casey from The Cake Detective, one of the pounamu taonga that each PMOT Award recipient was given.

After learning about Areta’s award, the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts at the University of Waikato offered their venue for the celebration ceremony, and invited Areta to see what their campus has on offer.

Brody received a Te Mahi ā-Rehe – Skills and Technology Achiever award, which recognises promising and competent young people who work well with their hands and are keen on entering a trade.

He is now studying a Level 3 automotive course and is getting work experience at a local mechanic’s workshop, and can use his scholarship for course fees. 

The Hamilton event was one of many PMOT Award celebrations that took place around the country, providing rangatahi with opportunities to celebrate their achievements with others invested in their success.

“It was a privilege to be involved. I am immensely proud of Areta and Brody and their caregivers. It was a very humbling reminder to myself to always think of the bigger picture and purpose that underpins my mahi," says Jacquie.

Friends whanau Oranga Tamariki kaimahi and community partners gather in celebration of Areta and Brody
Friends, whānau, Oranga Tamariki kaimahi and community partners gather in celebration of Areta and Brody.