PMOT Awards: seeing the potential

Published: February 2, 2022

Te Waiariki Purea Trust in Rotorua had the joy of celebrating a young person who received a Prime Minister’s Oranga Tamariki Award late last year. 

Precious Morgan
Award recipient Precious Morgan, with her Prime Minister's Oranga Tamariki award.

Precious Morgan was the recipient of a Te Ihumanea Academic Go-Getter Award, which was presented to her in front of her whānau, work colleagues and support network at a whakatau hosted by one of our local community partners.  

We caught up with Precious’s transition worker, April Bowden-Gardiner, who nominated her for the award.  

Community partner hosts special ceremony

April organised the whakatau, which included presenting Precious with her trophy and other gifts, speeches from herself and Precious’s mother, and some shared kai.  

April and the team at Te Waiariki Purea Trust really wanted to do something special for Precious to celebrate all her accomplishments to date and how far she has come.  

“I wanted to make a bit of fuss for her because we were not able to have the ceremony in Wellington,” says April.  

“It was just perfect. There was an overwhelming feeling of pride from everyone that attended.” 

Seeing the potential and drive

Even though Precious did not receive an award the first year she was nominated, April persisted and nominated her again in 2021 as she believed without a doubt that Precious deserved it.  

“I saw the potential and drive in Precious. She is the epitome of Ihumanea - Academic Go-Getter,” says April.  

When asked for advice for future nominators, April says anyone should put a nomination forward if they believe the young people they work with display any of the qualities the awards are looking for. 

“If the application isn’t successful, don't give up. Show the young person your commitment to them by re-submitting the next year.”  

Anyone can make a PMOT Award nomination to recognise an exceptional young person. Find out more, including when nominations are open, on our website.   

Award recipient Precious Morgan with her Transitions Worker April Bowden Gardiner
Award recipient Precious Morgan (right) with her transition worker, April Bowden-Gardiner (left).

A huge honour

The impact of winning a Prime Minister’s Oranga Tamariki Award is significant for a care-experienced young person. April describes the honour as "huge".  

“Being acknowledged for all the hard work they put in to becoming the best adults they can be, to know that they have people that believe in them is priceless,” says April.  

Thanks to generous sponsors, we are able to provide scholarships valued from $3000 to nurture young people’s interests, talents and skills. For Precious, it’s had a significant impact.  

“Winning this award has reignited Precious’s confidence and reassured her just how well she is doing, mentally, physically and personally. She was absolutely blown away with everything she received,” says April.  

Precious is currently studying Early Childhood Education and has also secured herself training at the Rotorua Childcare Centre.  

Helping young people navigate life

April has known Precious since she was 15 and became her transition worker when she turned 18.  

April’s role as a transition worker is to help young people navigate their way through life, with services that are out in the community that can also wrap around them for extra support. This includes life skills such as cooking, numeracy and budgeting. 

“I believe that if they can grasp the basics before venturing out on their own, they will be better equipped,” says April.

“Some young people are already out their living independently and still need to learn these skills, so I am happy to impart my knowledge and experiences to those that need it.”