‘Mark of excellence’ – Award nominations open now

Published: July 6, 2022

Hear from Chief Social Worker Peter Whitcombe about the 2022 Prime Minister’s Oranga Tamariki Awards.

Peter with banners for tile
Chief Social Worker Peter Whitcombe says being nominated for an Award can be encouraging and affirming for a young person in care.

A chance for young people to show how amazing they are – that’s the real value of a Prime Minister’s Oranga Tamariki Award according to Chief Social Worker Peter Whitcombe. 

“Everyone who works with children knows how incredible they can be. Given the right love and support, and in spite of some of the big challenges they have faced, they grow into these passionate, talented and caring people,” says Peter. 

“Tamariki and rangatahi who have experiences with care have all these qualities and more – and they often have developed a strong determination to succeed.  

“The Prime Minister’s Oranga Tamariki Awards recognise that, and create a special opportunity to celebrate young people in care.” 

About the Awards

Nominations for the 2022 Awards opened Friday 1 July, and close on Friday 5 August. Nomination forms and more information is available on our website. 

Award categories acknowledge excellence in a variety of areas such as academic achievement, creative entrepreneurship, skills and technology, and leadership. 

Recipients are given a scholarship to further their skills, talents or aspirations. The scholarships include $3000 in funding to support their goals, or a 21-day experience with Outward Bound.

“In the past we’ve had a young person use the scholarship to take a performing arts course in London at the Globe Theatre. We’ve had aspiring designers going on a dream trip to New York for Fashion Week, photographers buying top-notch camera lenses, and a young entrepreneur getting specialist equipment to start their own card-making business,” says Peter. 

Nominating a young person shows how much you believe in them

Whether or not they receive an Award, the experience of being nominated can be encouraging and affirming for a young person who has been in care.  

“Being put forward for a Prime Minister’s Oranga Tamariki Award is a mark of excellence. When you nominate a young person, you’re showing them how much you believe in them, and how much they matter,” says Peter. 

Anyone can make a nomination, and Peter says he hopes to see submissions coming from a wide range of community members involved in supporting young people. 

“It takes a whole community to empower our rangatahi. Whether you’re a social worker, caregiver, teacher, sports coach, church leader, support worker – these awards could help make a real difference in a young person’s life.”