Rugby League Northland has appointed a new development officer charged with taking care of the code from Kawakawa to Kaitaia.
Tane Kawai will look to build the image and brand of rugby league in Northland, which includes delivering a new programme, called Leadership through League, into primary and intermediate schools.
Kawai, who previously worked at the Far North District Council, is perfectly matched to the job as he is one of the region's leading referees. He was recently awarded the Referee of the Year award at the New Zealand Maori Rugby League Tournament.
Kawai said he hopes to share his passion and build a higher profile for rugby league in Northland, hopefully helping to add to the six club teams in the region.
"I see that my work with schools, clubs and coaches will help move the direction of rugby league forward to create an environment that is positive for rugby league," Kawai said.
"This role will be an exciting challenge and I have a lot to offer rugby league."