Maori sport awards likely to go ahead

RYAN EVANS
Last updated 05:00 01/10/2012

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Taranaki's Maori sports awards are likely to go ahead after all.

The event, which was under threat of being called off because of a lack of sponsors, is now pencilled back in for November 3.

BNZ Bank came to the rescue last week, sponsoring two of the awards categories after previous years' sponsors pulled out.

One more sponsor still needs to be found but the committee met last Friday and decided they would continue with the Te Tohu Takaro o Taranaki Maori awards, event manager Tania Murray said.

"We will still have budget constraints which we will have to work through," she said.

"But it's probably the only event where Maori get to celebrate their success, apart from the main sports awards.

"The committee would have been disappointed if they'd had to cancel it. I think we'll get there, we've still got a month."

The annual awards recognise senior and junior sportsmen and women of Maori descent, as well as teams, coaches and volunteers, in eight different categories.

The guest speaker this year is Silver Ferns coach Waimarama Taumanu and Ms Murray said she hoped having a speaker of that calibre would help boost ticket sales.

Tickets are expected to go on sale on October 8, she said.

The deadline for nominations has also been extended until Wednesday.

Nominations already received include surfer Bachelor Tipene and touch rugby player Roger Ratahi in the senior sportsmen category and surfer Thandi Tipene in the senior sportswomen category.

The winners go on to the national Maori sports awards.

Last year's winner was Taranaki, Highlanders and former All Black rugby player Jarrad Hoeata.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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