About the PMOT Awards

The Prime Minister’s Oranga Tamariki (PMOT) Awards are an annual celebration of the achievements and potential of young people in care across New Zealand.

He Kōtuku Rerenga Tahi

Recognising the achievements of care-experienced young people realising their potential.

What are the Prime Minister's Oranga Tamariki Awards?

Highlights of The Prime Minister's Oranga Tamariki Awards 2020


The Prime Minister's Oranga Tamariki Awards 2020: Highlight reel – video transcript


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Fancy meeting the Prime Minister?

For this year’s awards, 27 care-experienced rangatahi from all over Aotearoa – and their carers and supporters – gathered in Wellington for a huge day…

The rangatahi were recognised for their achievements in an official ceremony featuring:

MC Anika Moa

Motivational speaker Dr. Paul Wood

UFC featherweight Shane Young

Plus a live set from BENEE.

There was even some impromptu dancing…

A big of mingling…

Then a chance to meet Prime Minister Jacinda Adern.



Getting an award and being recognised through all this is kind of… amazing.

Shane Young:

Whoa. These kids, these 27 kids have got through to this one person. For that kids – I thank you! Ka kite anō.


Huge shout-out to everyone. All of the award winners – you guys are insane! Congratulations. XXX. You’re the bomb!



End of transcript.

Recognising progress

Whether or not they receive a PMOT Award, being nominated can be a life-changing experience for a young person who has been in care. It shows them how much you believe in their potential, and that you see their efforts. Award categories acknowledge the potential of young people in a variety of areas such as academic achievement, creative entrepreneurship, skills and technology and leadership.

Award presentations

We celebrate our award recipients by gifting them a specially designed tohu (trophy) and certificate. In the past, we’ve presented tohu to recipients at national events in Wellington and at intimate events in their home region.

National events are usually held in December and recipients (along with a support person) are invited to attend an award ceremony hosted by the Prime Minister at Parliament. We arrange and pay for travel for the recipient, their nominator and a support person.

Regional celebrations have been held when large gatherings are not possible due to COVID-19 restrictions. Our team works hard to make the day special for young people in other ways, such as providing award packs with vouchers and gifts that can be enjoyed with friends or family.

We will stay in touch about plans for celebrations and information packs will be sent prior to any ceremonies. If there are any further questions you can email them to PrimeMinistersAwards@ot.govt.nz.

Award scholarships

Each PMOT Award recipient receives a scholarship valued at $3000, thanks to our generous sponsors. Scholarships support rangatahi to further their skills, talents or aspirations.

For example:

  • paying university fees or other training-related costs 
  • specialist arts equipment like a 3D printer or camera 
  • attending high-level sports tournaments or cultural competitions 
  • buying supplies or tools to start a business.

In the past, young people have put their scholarship towards a dream trip to New York for Fashion Week, purchasing a horse for equine therapy training, performing arts training in London at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.

Scholarship funds can be used for almost any costs involved in academic study, trade training, creative or business endeavours, musical and cultural interests, sports training, community work and leadership development.

Usually, you can’t use your scholarship funds for rent or personal purchases, such as cars or jewellery. If you’re unsure and want some advice, get in touch with us to talk about your idea.

Award nominations

Find out more about nominating a young person for a PMOT Award, including the eligibility criteria and process:

Make a nomination for the PMOT Awards

PMOT Award news

Read about some of our PMOT Award recipients and their supporters:

Published: July 9, 2021 · Updated: May 20, 2022