For the second year in succession, the Kaitaia College Services Academy (Te Puna Mana Toa) has produced the winner of the northern region academies' leadership award.
Sam Yates, this year's head boy at Kaitaia College, won it last year, and on Saturday it was presented to Shannon Edwards.
Te Puna Mana Toa director Dudley Andrews said the recipients of the award, who were chosen by NZDF staff, must have attended all six NZDF courses, including advanced leadership courses, and maintained the NZDF ethos and values of courage, commitment, comradeship and integrity throughout the year.
The fact that the northern region, from Huntly College to Kaitaia College, was home to 14 of the country's 29 academies, added to Shannon's achievement, Mr Andrews said.
The award was presented at the northern region services academies graduation parade at Waitakere College, in Auckland.
"As with Sam Yates in 2017, Shannon became the parade commander," he said. "With the support of her whanau and the entire parade, she gave commands with confidence, and all 260 parade participants responded without hesitation.
"This is a very positive finish to what has been a great year. I really hope the Far North is proud of the students of the Kaitaia College Services Academy and what has been achieved over the last three years with Alpha, Bravo and Charlie classes.
"I am a military person and I understand the disciplines and expectations that we place on those we train. I only want to draw the best that the students have to offer to enhance their mana and the mana of their whanau. We have great kids in the North, and with the right guidance we can compete with the best."