Horowhenua Kāpiti Rugby Football Union held its awards night on Wednesday night at the Levin Cosmopolitan Club.

"It's been a memorable year," said chairman John Mowbray. "Winning the Lochore Cup, having three players named for the national Heartland squad and posted a financial surplus for the 10th year in a row, great returns on our investment in the Hurricanes, a Heartland game in the Westpac Stadium, 125 year celebrations and the opening of the Hōhepa Jacob Centre in Playford Park. Our staff have worked well above their duties and responsibilities this past year."

CEO Corey Kennett said the staff had put on 15 extra events this year. Two sets of awards were presented at the Awards Dinner, one for clubs and one for the representatives teams.

Referee awards, Kevin de Castro/KB Swain Award and the Robinson Rosebowl Cup went to Levin College Old Boys senior reserves and premier teams.


Saturday Morning Volunteer of the Year is Megan Qaranivalu, junior convenor for Rahui, their secondary school side and manages another team.

HKRFU 2018 Awards: the Club Award winners. Photo Darryl Butler
HKRFU 2018 Awards: the Club Award winners. Photo Darryl Butler

Rebekah Hori te Pa and Hayley Shaw from Athletic won the Club Supporter of the Year Award, while Wanderers' Irene Eruera-Taiapa said she was honoured to get the Club Volunteer of the Year. She is also one of three people nominated for national volunteer of the year award.

Club Referee of the Year is Ray McMillan, while Ritchie Wineera picked up Club Coach of the Year.

Winners of the rep awards include U20s Player of the Year, Xavier Pereka from Waikanae, who said he wouldn't have improved so much this year without the competition.

Sevens Player of the Year went to Ethan Reti, from Waikanae, and Connor Paki from Foxton is Māori Colt Player of the Year. Māori Player of the Year is Joel Winterburn.

Hone Taiapa is Development Player of the Year and Himiona Henare is Heartland Most Promising Player of the Year.

Heartland Most Improved Player of the Year is Dean Ropata, and Aaron Lahmert won Heartland Player of the Year.

HKRFU Rep Award Winners. Photo Darryl Butler
HKRFU Rep Award Winners. Photo Darryl Butler

Rep Coach of the Year went to Chris Wilton, who said playing Heartland rugby demands a major sacrifice from all involved and takes up a lot of time when many players have young families.


"The Lochore Cup final was my tensest moment in an 18-year career. Some of the guys have been playing in the team for as long as I have been coaching. Next year many will reach their 50th game for the team. Scott Cameron is on 47 now and Ryan Shelford at 88 games."

Rep team of the Year was the Heartland Team, which also won last year.