Four Far North students who have demonstrated exceptional leadership qualities in their communities have been selected by the Vodafone Warriors to attend the 2019 NRL All-Stars Indigenous Youth Leadership Summit in Melbourne in February.
Making the trip will be Nia Kara, Reiata Phillips Heihei, Sean Kaka and Te Ao Kohatu Kaukau Troughton, all from Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Kaikohe.
The summit, attended by more than 60 indigenous youth leaders from New Zealand and Australia, aims to provide an opportunity for attendees to further develop their leadership, cultural, educational and communication skills. Each NRL club has the opportunity to put forward four youths for the summit.
Vodafone Warriors community relations manager Petrece Kesha, a former Bay of Islands College student of Ngati Whatua descent, said the four were chosen due to their excellent cultural knowledge, leadership qualities, education results and their aspirations to be young leaders in their communities.
"As a club the Vodafone Warriors are committed to supporting youth across the country through our various community programmes, and it's awesome to be able to give such an incredible opportunity to these four Māori students from the Far North," she said.
"They won't just be representing the Vodafone Warriors when they're at the summit in Australia next year, but Aotearoa as well. They are exceptional young people and I know they'll do us proud."
Kesha identified the successful youth along with Deidre Otene, CEO Te Kotahitanga E Mahi Kaha Trust, a trust providing education and training services for youth in Kaikohe, and former CEO of the Moko Foundation.