Marton Junction School head girl Waiatatia Ratatani-Karehana has been named winner of the Rangitikei District Council youth award for leadership.

Mayor Andy Watson described 12-year-old Waiatatia as a delightful and motivated young girl.

"She really is a lovely young intelligent girl.''

Candidates for the youth awards must have been involved in activities within Rangitikei over the past 12 months.


Waiatatia's award was for a candidate who had demonstrated leadership in a project or organisation.

Awards organiser Gillian Bowler said Waiatatia was an avid supporter of the Marton rugby community, particularly the Stinger Beez.

"She sells raffles on the sidelines, hypes up support during the games and works behind the scenes when the Marton Club hosts"

Waiatatia also runs assemblies and organises events at school where she is Marton Junction's resident MC. She also gives the student body a voice when she reports back to the school board of trustees.

Her ambition is to study law at Canterbury University.

In giving her the leadership award, the judges commented: "While Waiatatia is only 12, she was an exceptional leader and an even better person.

"She has the ability to make the dullest day bright and to pick people up when they need it. Those are traits you can't learn but come from the deepest facets of sincerity and are what it truly means to be genuine.

"Our community needs more leaders who not only lead we"ll but are good people also.
Waiatatia is one of those leaders."