Nine young Pacific people were awarded with the NZ Prime Minister’s Pacific Youth Awards 2022 which took place in a special ceremony held at the parliament building in Wellington last night.
Amongst the nine awardees, two young Niuean women were also recognised for their outstanding leadership and excellence in their respective fields. The two young women include Eunique Ikiua from Hakupu and Annafinau Tukuitoga from Alofi North.
Eunique Ikiua won the Prime Minister’s Language, Culture and Identity Award for outstanding leadership.
Sponsored by the Ministry for Pacific Peoples, the award recognises a young person who has demonstrated outstanding leadership qualities by leading a project in their community, church or school or has acted in a way that has inspired others through their language and culture to make a positive change in their own life or the lives of others.
Eunique was awarded for her leadership affecting change in the technology industry. This year she presented to more than 3,000 Maori and Pasifika students through workshop and education events in South and West Auckland.
Winning the Arts, Culture and Creativity Prime Minister’s Award was Annafinau Tukuitoga for her significant level of achievement in the arts and creative field.
Sponsored by Creative New Zealand, the award recognises a young Pacific person who has demonstrated a significant level of achievement in the arts and creative fields or has used the arts or creative fields to effect positive change in their community.
Anna Tukuitoga loves to inspire young Pacific people through her passion for music. Over the past year she was the NZ Country Music Youth Ambassador, a genre of music very few Pacific people participate in.
She is inspiring young Pacific people to aspire to change the stereotype in the music industry. Anna is enrolled at Massey University to study commercial music next year.
The two young Niuean women were presented their awards by Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson and Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio.
About the NZ Prime Minister’s Pacific Youth Awards (PMPYA)
Every year, eight young Pacific people of Aotearoa aged between 17 and 24 years old are awarded with the Prime Minister’s Pacific Youth Awards.
The awards recognise the outstanding leadership and achievements of young Pacific Aotearoa people in several fields including language and culture, leadership and entrepreneurship, and for their efforts in the arts, education and the community.
The eight awards includes:
- Community Star Award
- International Scholar Award
- Business and Entrepreneurship Award
- Arts, Culture and Creativity Award
- Language Culture and Identity Award
- Commercial and Corporate Award
- Teaching and Education Award
- Leadership and Inspiration Award
Since the launch of the Prime Minister’s Pacific Youth Awards in 2010, they have played a vital role in recognising and celebrating the outstanding achievement and excellence of Pacific young people aged 17 to 24 and enhancing the journey for those among the top echelon of Pacific young achievers in Aotearoa.
This year, there were nine PMPYA awards across eight categories, supported by exceptional sponsors. Two awardees were chosen for the Community Star Award for this year.