The Wellington Airport Regional Community Awards were announced last week with two groups from Kāpiti among the seven winners.

The Māoriland Tech Creative Hub (M.A.T.C.H) won the Rising Star category for their work in leading young people to tell stories through technology.

"We were over the moon to receive this award," Māoriland's Madeleine de Young said.

"Our dream for M.A.T.C.H is to bring new opportunities to rangatahi in Ōtaki so that they can thrive in our changing world.

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"To date, much of the conversation around computing and the new economy is based in fear of computers taking people's jobs but the reality is that for our rangatahi, there has never been so much opportunity to create their own work, informed by their own interests and stories within their own communities.

Members of the Otaki Promotions Group Kirsty Doyle and Lynne Corkin.
Members of the Otaki Promotions Group Kirsty Doyle and Lynne Corkin.

"M.A.T.C.H is supporting that creative vision by connecting rangatahi to new skills and technology — to be recognised in this way allows us to share the vision beyond our own networks."

Wellington Airport brand and innovation manager Jo Maxwell said, "The Māoriland Tech Creative Hub was chosen for its aspirational programme that has provided opportunities for rangatahi Māori in the Otaki community.

"The self-led programme empowers young people to tell their stories through technology and connects them with industry leaders and pathways to successful careers in this industry."

The Otaki Promotions Group won the Arts and Culture category for their work running events in Ōtaki, notably the ever-growing Otaki Kite Festival.

"The Otaki Promotions Group is very excited to have received the Arts and Culture award," Otaki Promotions Group chairman Cam Butler said.

"We realise that every organisation there deserves to win the prize so we were honoured to be chosen.

"The award reflects the hard work by the community and the Otaki Promotions Group volunteers put into the Otaki Kite Festival which we believe is becoming an iconic event for Otaki and the Kapiti Coast.

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"Kites can cross barriers and bring different cultures together."

"The dedicated volunteers of the Ōtaki Promotions Group have made an immeasurable impact on the Ōtaki community," Jo said.

"Their iconic Kite Festival, along with an array of fun community events and expos, have reinvigorated the community by creating opportunities for locals to come together and celebrate all the town has to offer."

The supreme award went to InsideOUT from Wellington, for the role they play in making Aotearoa a safer place for young people of all sexual orientations and genders, giving all rainbow young people a sense of belonging in their schools and communities.