The Mana Pounamu Young Achievers’ Awards was brought about through the vision of the late Tāua, Alva Kapa, a local Kāi Tahu educator. It was named as such because it was first held in the Year of Mana Pounamu (2001) and is a Kāi Tahu initiative supported by Kā Papatipu Rūnaka ki Arai-Te-Uru.

The awards ceremony is an opportunity to celebrate the achievement of rakatahi Māori in secondary schools across Otago. Please note that the underlying objectives of these awards are to:

  • Celebrate the success and achievement of rakatahi Māori

  • Encourage rakatahi to participate in further tertiary study

  • Identify leadership potential

  • Provide positive role models to rakatahi Māori

  • Create networking opportunities

  • Provide and distribute information relating to study, career and scholarships.



Various organisations, institutions, groups and members of our community have been involved in the Mana Pounamu Awards since its inception. In particular, we would like to acknowledge ongoing support from:

  • Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu

  • Kā Papatipu Rūnaka ki Arai-Te-Uru (Ōtākou, Puketeraki & Moeraki)

  • Otago Polytechnic, Te Pūkenga 

  • The University of Otago

  • The Ministry of Education

  • The Otago Daily Times (since 2011)

  • Tokona te Raki