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Te Whakaihuwaka o Tau Ora – National overall Tau Ora Champion - Tammy Kara (left) with Te Taiurungi Te Ururoa Flavell and Kaeley Elkington.

Massive weight loss, inspirational leadership and great teamwork have been celebrated at the annual Tau Ora Awards.

The awards acknowledge those who are making a difference within their takiwā, whānau and communities.

The 12-week Tau Ora Hīkoi challenge is a key part of the Tau Ora calendar, fostering friendly competition at both an individual and team level.

Team Useen Bolt - Mere Tane, Nathaniel Walker, Mere Attwater, Whare Randell and Ashley Mcleod – won the Te Rangawaewaeteam award after they accumulated a massive 12,785,398 points and not only inspired each other but also their whānau and kaimahi around the office. Led by Mere Tane, the team showed the resilience, support and encouragement needed to take out the top spot.

Team member Whare Randell won the Te Manawanui Award for most points by an individual. Training for the World Waka Ama Championships held in Tahiti in July was his main focus and gave him something to focus on after an injury.

The Māreikura Award – for wāhine who demonstrate innovation, diversity, dignity and grace in remembrance of the Māreikura that have been before us – went to Janet Yeng Tung, who is known by Te Ihu whānau as Mel.

This wāhine has an amazing story. She is inspirational and demonstrates all this award stands for. Mel was a graduate of our Level 4 Sports programme and in 2017 secured the role of gym coordinator at the Māngere Campus in 2017.

The mother of three has lost around 70kg, won the FitMumz competition and has developed a new passion for Health and Fitness. 

The Toitoi Manawa – Most Inspirational KaimahiAwards to kaimahi from each takiwā and Te Puna Mātauranga – went to Ruki Tobin, Reginald Maxwell, Nikki Koroheke-Turner and Kaeley Elkington.

Ruki is an inspiration in Te Ihu. His physical transformation is only one aspect of how much he has changed. He has embraced a new lifestyle which has resulted in significant changes both physically and mentally and given him a new lease on life. Ruki has lost a whopping 80kgs and continues to achieve his goals. This year he has participated in the Round the Bays, has been smashing it at the kaimahi gym sessions and is always willing to try new things. He has now registered for Tri Māori, Te Rima and Tough Guy and Gal. 

Reginald has lost more than 10kg since March and has encouraged and challenged the rest of our youth guarantee team to do the same through healthy diet and exercise. His journey has had a positive impact on our Porirua whānau, with healthy lunches, fitness sessions, walking groups, and gym workouts.

Nikki is part of the Te Waenga security team and has been a great support and role model during the Tau Ora season. She has demonstrated this on many occasions including, suggesting how the team can increase their steps and encouraging the team to take on as many of the challenges as they could. She also played a significant role in her own community ensuring the home rugby team were well nourished by catering for all the local club games for Otorohanga. This contributed to the 2,000,000 steps Nikki had accumulated during Tau Ora. 

Kaeley has been an instrumental part of the transformation at Te Puna Mātauranga. Kaeley kicked off kaimahi fitness by hosting punishing gym sessions most days for Te Puna Mātauranga kaimahi. She has achieved much in her young life and has been involved in numerous CrossFit and Olympic Weightlifting competitions, where she has a swag of records to her name. After winning teen CrossFit titles in 2014, she started Olympic Weightlifting the following year and won bronze at the Oceania Pacific Games in Papua New Guinea, silver at the Youth Commonwealth Games in Samoa and gold at the New Zealand National champs.

Along the way she broke 15 New Zealand Youth and junior records in the under 63kg category. She also competed in the CrossFit Games open (teen category), winning the Australasian title and finishing 12th in the world. In 2016, a broken pelvis saw Kaeley take up coaching and discover a new passion. “I love coaching and motivating our whānau. It’s so exciting watching people achieve the things they thought they could never do.”

The national Tau Ora champion award – which recognises the person who has shown inspiration, encouragement, dedication and pure determination - this year went to Te Puna Mātauranga procurement officer Tammy Kara.

Tammy has been a huge contributor towards Tau Ora over many years and is a quiet and humble achiever. She has gone about her wellbeing journey with determination and resilience and this year she has taken her fitness and wellbeing to a whole other level. She has competed in the Great Wall of China Marathon and also took part in numerous events throughout the motu with both her husband and her tamariki. She always puts her whānau needs first and helps with their sporting commitments and family business. Tammy has been a part of the Wānanga whānau for five years and enjoys training, upskilling and working on her strength and PBs while always encouraging her whānau and friends to participate and make healthier choices. 

Tau Ora Award winners:

Te Rangawaewae Top team during the 13 week Kaimahi Hīkoi Challenge - Useen Bolt (Mere Tane, Nathaniel Walker, Mere Attwater, Whare Randell and Ashley Mcleod).

 Te Manawanui individual with the most points– Whare Randell

Toitoi Manawa – Most Inspirational Kaimahi 

Te Ihu – Ruki Tobin 

Te Waenga – Nikki Koroheke-Turner 

Te Kei – Reginald Maxwell 

Te Puna Mātauranga – Kaeley Elkington

Māreikura Award – Innovation, Diversity, Dignity and Grace - Janet Yeng Tung 

Te Whakaihuwaka o Tau Ora – National overall Tau Ora Champion - Tammy Kara

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