6 September 2023
Members of the New Zealand grassroots rugby league community across the motu get the chance to see their hard mahi recognised through the Pirtek Volunteer of the Month award.
This award is given to a volunteer who displays the core values of NZRL’s Kiwi Way: being family first, innovative, inclusive, respectful, and humble. NZRL is excited to announce that the winner of Volunteer of the Month for August 2023 is Nick Hennessy.
Nick is a proud member and coach of the kōtiro (young girls) at the Raukawa Ki Runga club in Ōtaki where over the past 2 years he has encouraged new girls to join the club and become involved in rugby league. He has always made sure that players and their families feel warmly welcomed.
Pirtek CEO Chris Bourke says, “Nick welcomes and appreciates new players regardless of their skill level”.
As a coach Nick goes above and beyond to help the kōtiro and their whānau overcome any barriers to their participation in the team and rugby league. This includes 3-hour round trips transporting girls to and from training, providing financial assistance, offering individual training sessions for players in need, and bringing in others with special skill sets to assist with coaching.
“Nick has also created an environment outside of league to help the girls form bonds with each other.”
With the young Raukawa girls being involved in multiple sports teams, Nick communicates with other coaches regarding trainings and games to make sure his players aren’t becoming overloaded. He welcomes the opinions of parents to ensure the girl’s well-being and safety are at the forefront and will adjust player positions so the girls feel comfortable on the field.
Behind every good man, is a great wife and that is Nick’s wife Taramea. They make a phenomenal team and the Raukawa whānau are extremely appreciative of everything they do, every opportunity they provide, and the overwhelming support they give to the kōtiro and whānau.
“Congratulations Nick for being Pirtek Volunteer of the Month.”
08 August 2023
Our rugby league community gets a chance to see their hard mahi recognised across the motu through the Pirtek Volunteer of the Month award.
This award is gifted to a volunteer who displays the core values of NZRL’s Kiwi Way: being family first, innovative, inclusive, respectful, respectful, and humble. NZRL is excited to announce that couple Dylan and Ruscelle Rintoul are the winners of the 2023 Volunteer of the Month for July.
Pirtek CEO Chris Bourke says, “It is refreshing to hear about an amazing husband and wife team that work tirelessly for their club and the game of Rugby League. ”
Dylan and Ruscelle are proud members of the Ngaruawahia Panthers Rugby League Club and community, with Dylan taking on the role of club chairman this year, supported by his wife.
The Panthers have been proudly established as a club for over 110 years, but due to COVID-19, the number of junior players and teams at the club took a hit. Since Dylan was appointed chairman, the club has welcomed over 100 new junior players due to hours of hard mahi by Dylan and Ruscelle.
From sourcing sponsors to travelling to Auckland to purchase gear and equipment for the club and organising discos for the children, the couple has made all the difference in the revival of the Panthers club and community.
The couple also coach and manage the Panthers U7 team, which they have nurtured through the grades for the last three years, with Ruscelle also managing three additional teams. Somehow Dylan also finds the time to fulfil his role as co-chair of the Waikato Junior Rugby League.
Pirtek CEO Chris Bourke says, “Volunteering for Rugby League is what this award is about. Dylan and Ruscelle put in the effort and give up considerable time and resources to support the club. The increased number of kids registered at the club is an amazing result.”
“Dylan and Ruscelle Rintoul are worthy winners of Pirtek Volunteer of the Month. Congratulations, Dylan and Ruscelle.”
30 June 2023
The prestigious Pirtek Volunteer of the Month award returns this month, where our rugby league community gets a chance to see their hard mahi recognised across the motu.
The winner chosen for this award displays the core values of NZRL’s Kiwi Way: being family first, innovative, inclusive, respectful, respectful and humble. NZRL is excited to announce that Scott Tulua is the 2023 Volunteer of the Month winner for June.
People like Scott from the Papatoetoe Panthers are hard to find. He dedicates his time and effort to coaching the club’s U18 boys’ side and assisting with the Otahuhu Leopards Premier Women’s team. Somehow Scott also finds the time to help with the Tangaroa College U14 rugby team; those involved with these teams undoubtedly appreciate all that Scott does.
From supplying team gear and equipment to washing uniforms and providing transport for young players, Scott selflessly serves however possible to ensure tamariki and rangatahi can enjoy playing Rugby League without obstacles.
Outside of Rugby League, Scott is also a dedicated community member, committing his spare time to helping others by repairing bikes.
Pirtek CEO says, “Having a person willing to dedicate so much of their time on a volunteer basis to the great game of Rugby League is rare.
“Scott is a very deserving Pirtek Volunteer of the Month.
“Thank you, Scott, for what you do for Rugby League.”
30 May 2023
2023 sees the return of the prestigious Pirtek Volunteer of the Month award, where our rugby league community gets a chance to see their hard mahi recognised across the motu.
This award is gifted to a volunteer who displays the core values of NZRL’s Kiwi Way: being family first, innovative, inclusive, respectful, respectful and humble. NZRL is excited to announce that Phylis Latu is the first winner of the 2023 Volunteer of the Month.
Phylis Latu is a proud member of the Manurewa Marlins rugby league club and community. Latu currently acts as the Marlin’s club secretary, sourcing funding and resources that benefit the club.
In addition to working for the Manurewa Marlins, Latu provides wrap-around support and delivers food and medical support for whānau affected by Covid-19.
She leads a group of local rangatahi who she’s helped develop and upskill to enable them to give back to their communities across Manurewa. Latu has used rugby league as a vehicle to support and transform lives.
Pirtek GM of Sales & Operations says, “Congratulations Phylis Latu on being Pirtek’s Volunteer of the Month.”
“At Pirtek, we love hearing inspiring stories about great people in the League whānau. It was clear that Phylis puts in the mahi daily, supporting her club in every way.
“People like Phylis make our community clubs as great as they are. Manurewa is lucky to have her care, aroha and support.
“Congratulations to a very worthy and well-deserving winner.”
Each PVOTM winner receives $200 worth of vouchers.
Nominations are now open for June; to enter fill out the form below.
24 November 2022
2022 sees the return of the prestigious Pirtek Volunteer of the Month award, where our rugby league community gets a chance to see their hard mahi recognised across the motu. This award is gifted to a volunteer who displays the core values of NZRL’s Kiwi Way: being family first, innovative, inclusive, respectful, respectful and humble. We are excited to announce that the final winner of 2022 and the month of November is Siosiua Kailahi.
Siosiua Kailahi delves his hat into many roles across the rugby league community. Kailahi is the head coach for the U13 Wolfpack rugby league side, the U13 Hakula Tonga representative side, the St. Pauls Junior squad while also holding roles with the New Zealand Canterbury Bulldogs academy and U18s Dean Bell North White side (Assistant coach).
Dedicated to a role where he works with young men, Kailahi is much more than a coach. Siosuia acts as a role model, counsellor, mentor and father figure to all the youth that oversees. For Sosh (as he is known), it is more than just rugby league. The game is a vehicle that allows him to connect and mentor teenagers into becoming men. It is about how they represent themselves and their families on and off the pitch.
Sosh encourages the boys he coaches to be accountable, to be respectful and, most importantly, to be connected.
His energy never wavers between the three teams he coaches, and his efforts show that rugby league can be a driver for creating young role models in the community.
Pirtek CEO Chris Bourke commented on Kailahi, “Siosiua Kailahi is a worthy winner of the Pirtek Volunteer of the Month award for November. Kailahi displays and delivers on all of the core values of NZRL’s Kiwi Way.
He is innovative with his coaching methods and values respect and humility in his teams. Importantly, Siosuia is humble and teaches the young boys to be modest in life via his involvement with the teams he is associated with.“
Volunteers need to be recognised for their commitment and dedication, and Siosiua epitomises those values.
31 October 2022
2022 sees the return of the prestigious Pirtek Volunteer of the Month award, where our rugby league community gets a chance to see their hard mahi recognised across the motu. This award is gifted to a volunteer who displays the core values of NZRL’s Kiwi Way: being family first, innovative, inclusive, respectful, respectful and humble. We are excited to announce that the winner for the month of October is Grant Woodgate
Grant Woodgate has been a servant to the Hornby Rugby League Club since he donned the jersey in 1952. From there, he went on to play not just for Hornby but for Canterbury too.
Woodgate then moved into coaching, managing, trainer and strapper roles as he remained passionate about serving the Hornby club and his community. Woodgate eventually became Club President and is now a Life Member of the Club, a rugby league club he has poured his heart and soul into.
To this day, Grant never questions the calls for help or support; he serves the club where he can with a smile on his face. His selfless gift is his time; Woodgate remains at the grounds after training and games, interacting with the players or mentoring the juniors. He offers his services as a strapper or trainer, providing valuable insight where he can.
After so many years of service to Hornby Rugby League Club, Woodgate’s enthusiasm and energy never wavers. He always makes time for the club, its staff and its players and has been a pivotal part of the Panthers’ growth.He aha te mea nui o te ao? He tangata, He tangata, He tangata!
Pirtek CEO Chris Bourke commented, “The acknowledgment of Grant Woodgate’s commitment and importance to Hornby Rugby League Club is supported by all of the people associated with the club.”
Grant has done it all for the club, starting as a player in 1952 and still shows his dedication to the club after many years.”
“Grant’s dedication to the club and game goes beyond normal volunteering expectations, and that’s why Grant is a very worthy winner of the Pirtek Volunteer of the Month.”
3 October 2022
2022 sees the return of the prestigious Pirtek Volunteer of the Month award, where our rugby league community gets a chance to see their hard mahi recognised across the motu. This award is gifted to a volunteer who displays the core values of NZRL’s Kiwi Way: being family first, innovative, inclusive, respectful, respectful and humble. We are excited to announce that the first winner in 2022 and the month of September is David Pohika.
David is the epitome of someone who loves the game of rugby league. Coming from Hauraki, a rugby heartland, Pokiha has worked tirelessly to grow our game in the area. For the last two years, David has gathered a group of boys to train every week, even though it is highly unlikely for the Tigers to find another club to play against.
Despite this, both Pokiha and the boys he trains, still show up regularly to practice and play the game that they love.
His passion and dedication for the sport is unmatched in the Hauraki region and is a well-deserved winner of this award.
Pirtek CEO Chris Bourke commented on the September winner, “The Hauraki Tigers are very privileged to have David Pokiha playing a pivotal role in their club. We love that Dave is challenging the status quo in a Rugby prominent region.
Although struggling to get games together we appreciate that Dave perseveres to ensure those who are passionate about playing Rugby League get that opportunity.
David is a very well deserving winner of the Pirtek Volunteer of the Month, and keep up the great work”
To nominate, please fill out the form below!
August 8, 2022
2022 sees the return of the prestigious Pirtek Volunteer of the Month award, where our rugby league community gets a chance to see their hard mahi recognised across the motu. This award is gifted to a volunteer who displays the core values of NZRL’s Kiwi Way: being family first, innovative, inclusive, respectful, respectful and humble. We are excited to announce that the first winner in 2022 and the month of July is Narrisa Fraser.
For many years, Narrisa has supported the Wainuiomata Lions in every way she can. Fraser splits her time supporting the Lions junior teams, organising fundraisers and end-of-year prizegivings.
Fraser’s mahi goes on and off the rugby league field, from setting up junior fields to managing sausage sizzles and club raffles. Everything she does outside of her everyday club commitments is to ensure tamariki thrive in the area.
A lot of Narrisa’s efforts go unnoticed around the club but are essential in keeping the foundation of the Wainuiomata Lions strong.
Pirtek CEO Chris Bourke commented on Narrisa’s win, “longevity and completing the small tasks are key qualities of our rugby league volunteers, to ensure as many people as possible can participate and enjoy our amazing game.”
“The Wainuiomata Lions are very privileged to have Narrisa on board to go the extra mile, supporting all activities within their club.”
As with most volunteers, Narrisa takes on these crucial roles for her club along with her own family commitments. Narrisa is another very worthy recipient of the Pirtek Volunteer of the Month.”
June 13, 2022
2022 sees the return of the prestigious Pirtek Volunteer of the Month award, where our rugby league community gets a chance to see their hard mahi recognised across the motu. This award is gifted to a volunteer who displays the core values of NZRL’s Kiwi Way: being family first, innovative, inclusive, respectful, respectful and humble. We are excited to announce that the first winner in 2022 and the month of May is Tim O’Leary.
Tim took over far north’s Kerikeri Mako’s suddenly after the previous manager’s unforeseen passing. O’Leary has remained at the club for several years as the Makos suffered tragedy as a fire struck down its clubrooms. After three years of lobbying to the council, the building was demolished, leaving the Kerikeri outfit without basic necessities for a rugby league club.
O’Leary was instrumental in gathering gazebos for changerooms, organising the team to be able to use showers at the nearby gym and aftermatch at the local pub. Tim has also invested a lot of personal funds into the logistics of the club to keep it afloat, evening paying for fees and players’ boots.
The dedicated father of five contributes a lot of his time between his family and the Kerikeri Makos and is a focal point for the Northland club.
Pirtek CEO Chris Bourke says, “The Kerikeri Makos are fortunate to have someone like Tim O’Leary amongst the club.”
“Tim is the epitome of what volunteering is within our rugby league community. The club has faced a number of extraordinary challenges and tragedy, and Tim has stepped up every time, ensuring the continuity of rugby league in the area.”
“it is not easy to sacrifice so much of your time and family commitments, but O’Leary puts his best foot forward for everything he does.”
“Tim is well-deserving of the Pirtek Volunteer of the Month and first of 2022.”
Volunteers will be chosen based off how well they demonstrate our Kiwi Way values:
We are family first – stronger together.
Innovative and Courageous – punch above our weight.
We are responsible.
We are inclusive, respectful and humble.
Each winner receives $200 worth of vouchers.
Pirtek’s prestigious Volunteer of the Month is given to a volunteer who displays the core values of NZRL’s Kiwi Way, which are being family first, innovative, inclusive, respectful and humble.
We are honoured to announce the winner for October 2021 is Glenora’s Val Liuaga.
Val is a champion for her local West Auckland club, the Glenora Bears. She works tirelessly every weekend from 6 am going between Te Atatu Park, Duck Park and Henderson Park, where she prepares the fields and all aspects needed for Juniors to play their games.
Liuaga also volunteers in the tuckshop, team fundraisers, and maintenance of the ground and change rooms when needed.
Val is vital to the health and growth of the Glenora Bears from the junior teams up to its Premier side, lending a hand whenever she can.
Pirtek CEO Chris Bourke commented on this months winner, “Val Liuaga is the epitome of volunteering. She does not complain but gets to work and does it the best she can. That is the definition of volunteering, getting stuck in and doing the job!”
“The Mighty Glenora Bears are a privileged rugby league club to have someone like Val on board with them; with her care and commitment to the club, Val ensures each team and weekend runs smoothly. Val sacrificing her weekends for the club is a testament to her character and drive to see the club function and be successful.”“Val is a very worthy winner of the Pirtek Volunteer of the Month, and we congratulate her and thank her for her dedication to the great game of rugby league.”
We are excited to announce that September’s Pirtek Volunteer of the Month is Cindy Petero.
Cindy Petero has served the Tokoroa Pacific Sharks for numerous years. She is currently the Junior coordinator of the club, investing in creating an environment for rangatahi to enjoy the game of rugby league.
Petero, along with her four children, are always the first to the field on a Saturday morning. They set up goal posts, sidelines, and events for the day and stay behind to ensure all the equipment is packed up and the grounds are clean from rubbish when the games are over.
The solo mother has two sons that she regularly takes to trainings and games while also finding the time to make sure the Mini-mode grades at the club do not go without.
On top of her responsibilities, Petero also works as the Bay of Plenty mini-mod convener. She organises competitions for clubs all over the district and manages the Bay of Plenty U15s. She shows every day she will do anything she can to ensure rugby league thrives in her region.
Chris Bourke, CEO of Pirtek, stated, “The Tokoroa Pacific Sharks have an exceptional volunteer with Cindy Petero. She is amazing in tackling all sorts of tasks at this great club.”“Cindy, as the clubs Junior Co-ordinator, goes over and above to ensure the young players have a great rugby league experience. Along with Cindy’s personal commitments and family matters, she selflessly gives up her time to enable others in her region to enjoy the great game.”
“Volunteers are essential for this great sport, and Cindy is certainly a very deserving winner of the Pirtek Volunteer of the month for September.”
We are excited to announce that August’s Pirtek Volunteer of the Month is Nicole Baker-Havea.
Nicole Baker-Havea has committed herself to the Otahuhu Leopards Rugby League club for over a decade and currently sits as the junior Chairlady at the club. Nicole oversees 21 teams for the South Auckland outfit, contributing to the management of said teams and the club as a whole. The mother of seven is also actively involved with Tonga Tag20 and Hakula Tonga Rugby League.
A full-time social worker away from the game, Nicole also serves as a youth mentor in her community and is enrolled in a post-graduate degree in Mental Health and Addictions. Baker-Havea’s passion for rugby league knows no bounds; not allowing her work in the game to be limited by her busy lifestyle, the Otahuhu Chairlady finds countless hours to invest into her club and area.
Nicole is well respected in her rugby league teams, creating a plethora of avenues for tamariki to flourish in the game.
Pirtek CEO Chris Bourke commented, “Long-standing rugby league volunteers such as Nicole Baker-Havea are critical to the foundation of this wonderful sport. Nicole has committed her time and energy into volunteering for rugby league for over ten years and deserves recognition.” “Nicole is completely dedicated to her family while also investing herself to supporting the people that want to play and enjoy rugby league.” “Not only does Nicole volunteer for the game, she does this while also being a community social worker and youth mentor. Baker-Havea is just simply a great person to have in our rugby league whanau.”“Nicole is more than deserving to be Pirtek’s Volunteer of the month, and as her daughter, Meliame says, ‘she is my superhero without a cape.'” Congratulations Nicole!
Every month with the help of Pirtek, we celebrate a volunteer who has contributed immensely to rugby league and their community. The tough Covid-19 period has not stopped Shayne Wassel of the Takahiwai Rugby League club from providing tireless support to the local team. Congratulations to Shayne, our September Pirtek Volunteer of the Month.
A single father to four kids who all play Rugby League, Shayne can often be found at Takahiwai Rugby League club selling sausages, setting up for the day or fixing a goal post or a broken fence.
He also coaches and manages various club teams on top of coaching an international grade representative side. Shayne places huge importance on the local game and continuously gives back to the footy club and local community.
He has several mild disabilities including mild deafness, speech impediment and blindness in one eye; however, that doesn’t hold him back!
“His smile and huge sense of humour are well noticed throughout Northland. As well as being very welcoming and supportive to new parents and players he is consistently there to support them along their rugby league journey,” says nominator Ari Carrington.
Chris Bourke, General Manager at Pirtek says, “Shayne Wassel is a standout Pirtek Volunteer of the Month recipient for a multitude of reasons and is a great representative for the Takahiwai club.
“Shayne appears to take life’s challenges on the chin and puts his children, others and Rugby League well in front of himself. The other contributing strength to Shayne’s character is that he welcomes newcomers to the Rugby League community, which has a great impact on the continuity of our great game.”
Shayne epitomises our ‘Kiwi Way’ and ‘More Than a Game’ values and is a well-deserved recipient of Pirtek’s Volunteer of the Month Award.
Thanks to Pirtek, each month we look to celebrate a volunteer who has contributed immensely to Rugby League and their community. Although the second wave of COVID-19 put a temporary pause on rugby league activity in Auckland, this hasn’t stopped the selfless efforts of our volunteers throughout the year. Congratulations to our August Volunteer of the Month, Polu Paselio.
Polu Paselio of the Pt Chevalier Pirates is a volunteer referee and known for his consistency and fairness. So much so he’s sought after by countless teams due to the fact he always exercises good judgement, takes time to explain the rules to each side before the match and is clear and well communicated on the field.
Polu recently was asked to ref last minute for a U10’s away match at Waitemata; without hesitation, he grabbed his boots from his car and refereed despite horrible conditions and only sporting his t-shirt.
Polu is well respected in the community and always puts the game and its players before himself.
Chris Bourke, General Manager at Pirtek, says, “We are very pleased to see a referee receive a nomination for the Pirtek Volunteer of the Month, as referees tend to be the forgotten ones that do an amazing job keeping our Rugby League games progressing. “Polu Paselio as volunteer referee selflessly gives up his time for what has to be one of the hardest roles to undertake within the Rugby League community. Not only being there when required to undertake the refereeing role, Polu has to be fit, fast and fair with a great knowledge of the game. Volunteers like Polu can have an amazing influence on our young Rugby League players which generates respect for those that embark on those tough roles. “Polu Paselio is a very well deserved winner of the Pirtek Volunteer of the Month.”
Nominations are now open for Pirtek’s September Volunteer of the Month. https://nzrl.co.nz/more-than-a-game/volunteer-of-the-month/
Volunteers will be chosen based off how well they demonstrate our Kiwi Way values:
We are family first – stronger together.
Innovative and Courageous – punch above our weight.
We are responsible.
We are inclusive, respectful and humble.
Each winner receives $200 worth of vouchers.
Thanks to Pirtek, each month we look to celebrate a volunteer who has contributed immensely to Rugby League and their community. The COVID-19 pandemic put a temporary pause on this for 2020, however, we are back and kickstarting this great initiative again with our July Volunteer of the Month, Simon Watson.
For the past three years, the Glenfield Greyhounds have been bumped off their home ground, Sunnynook No.1, as the park underwent significant field renovations. As a result, retaining team numbers and club registrations became a real challenge. While this may have overwhelmed and wiped out some clubs, Simon Watson, Glenfield Greyhounds Club Chairman, has been steadfast in his commitment and advocacy for the future of the Greyhounds.
He has established community partnerships with nearby organisations, connected with schools and relentlessly questioned the District on the strategic growth imperatives for the North Shore. This extensive community engagement has been coupled with the physical tasks of game day as Simon ensures they are carried out seamlessly and safely for his members and visitors to the club, while also wearing whatever hat is needed at any stage of the week. While Club Chairman may be his official title, he is also the tech guy, the barman, the club hire contact and field logistics coordinator.
This month, the Greyhounds celebrated the reopening of Sunnynook Park with an open community club day on Saturday 26 July. Simon coordinated an inclusive, entertaining event for all ages and marked the occasion with some morning formalities that included staff and Board members from Devonport-Takapuna Local Board and Auckland Rugby League. While the DJ entertained in the background and everyone enjoyed watching games back on Sunnynook No.1, Simon could be seen setting up flags, greeting sponsors and even stopping to thank the local rubbish removers for the contribution they were making to the day.
Ever humble and extremely hearty, Simon is invaluable to the game and truly epitomises ‘The Kiwi Way’.
Chris Bourke, General Manager at Pirtek says, “As with all of our Rugby League volunteers Simon exemplifies the embedded hunger they have for the success of the game of Rugby League at a local level, and the sacrifices they make in their personal lives to ensure the teams are well looked after.
“With the significant disruptions we have had this year and coupled with the significant changes to the Greyhounds home ground, many people may have given up their support. Simon has gone above and beyond normal volunteering and with his community engagement to ensure the continuity of the game in this key location.
“Congratulations on the re-opening of Sunnynook Park and congratulations to Simon Watson for being an integral part of this process. Simon is a well deserving winner of the Pirtek Volunteer of the Month for July 2020.”
Nominations are now open for Pirtek’s August Volunteer of the Month.
Thanks to Pirtek, each month we look to celebrate a volunteer who has contributed immensely to Rugby League and their community. This month, we congratulate Alan Utanga from the Pacific Sharks Rugby League Club, Tokoroa, for being our May Pirtek Volunteer of the Month.
Over the last 20-years, Alan has gone above and beyond for his league club. He was nominated by Richard and Gen McNamara who had nothing but good things to say. They described Alan as a humble person with an amazing passion for the game whose impact is felt by many on and off the field.
“Over the past two decades, Alan has worked closely with men he once trained as boys and continues to build their potential. Alan’s involvement may seem to go unnoticed to many, even to himself, being a humble individual. But his dedication to ensuring team safety both on and off the field never goes unseen.” Richard says.
“Even with the players and their post-game antics, Alan is always readily available to sober drive and keep the team safe. I have seen Alan offer exceptional advice, help and support to generations of boys playing under 13’s, to now playing senior league, coaching or better yet currently playing NRL. He’s also a growing ref for our younger age levels and has vast knowledge and passion for the women’s league. It is an ongoing privilege to see Alan give his time, energy and efforts week in, week out, season after season. He has helped shape a lot of boys into amazing men playing rugby league.”
“I hope my son is fortunate enough to be taught by Alan, as my brothers and I were.” Richard concludes.
Chris Bourke, General Manager at Pirtek says “Alan’s commitment to the game of rugby league is outstanding and his ability to transfer and share his knowledge of the game to generations of players is a credit to him.”
“With safety a priority at Pirtek, we appreciate Alan’s commitment to team safety on and off the field. His ability to cross over with support to all aspects of the game within the Pacific Sharks makes Alan an indispensable asset to the game for Tokoroa and for New Zealand.”
Nominations are now open for Pirtek’s June Volunteer of the Month.
Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and Honey Hireme reign supreme at the 2018 New Zealand Rugby League Annual Awards announced on Sky Sport’s Kiwi League Show tonight.
Waerea-Hargreaves (Kiwi #755) had one of his best seasons in the black and white jersey, accumulating over 130 run metres for all four end-of-season Test matches in England, and proved crucial in the Kiwis historic 26-24 win over Australia.
Michael Maguire says: “As a senior player within the Kiwis camp, Jared put a lot of time into discussing the growth of the Kiwi team. He has immense passion towards where he wants to see the black and white jersey and this is a real quality of his,”
“Off the back of his brilliant season in club land, he was in a good position to play his best footy for the Kiwis and that’s exactly what he did. His experience has been invaluable in mentoring younger players to step up into international rugby league,” Maguire says.
The powerhouse prop capped off his 2018 NRL season with his second NRL premiership win, a title he was able to share with Kiwis teammate Joseph Manu (finalist for Kiwis Rookie of the Year).
In one of the biggest years to date for women’s rugby league, Honey Hireme was hard to go past when it came to crowning the Kiwi Ferns Player of the Year, an award she won back in 2012. As co-captain of the Kiwi Ferns alongside veteran teammate Laura Mariu, she crossed the ditch to play for the St George Illawarra Dragons in the inaugural NRL Women’s Premiership, an experience she says has benefitted her game.
“The addition of this year’s NRL competition was great for the women’s game. The fact that we could all come together in Kiwi Ferns camp following four weeks of competing in the elite space, was hugely beneficial when it came to pulling on the black and white jersey against the Jillaroos,”
“The more we can play at the top level, the better our game gets. I’m grateful for receiving this award but would also like to recognise the efforts of the other finalists (Kimiora Nati and Aieshaleigh Smalley) and our Kiwi Ferns teammates, my family for their undying support, management and coaching staff,” she says.
The Kiwis Rookie of the Year award was picked up by Kiwi #810 Ken Maumalo, a player who earnt his Kiwis call-up in June at Mile High Stadium before going on to play in all five 2018 Kiwis Test matches, scoring four tries. His impressive season with the Warriors and Kiwis attracted high praises from coach Michael Maguire and rightfully so, given he amassed 15 tackle breaks and 801 run metres over the three Tests he played against England.
“Both Ken and Jared are two players that are hungry for the Kiwis jersey to reach new heights and that’s pleasing,”
“It has been really enjoyable coaching Ken, the more he plays, the more he grows so I look forward to seeing what he does next year,” Maguire says.
Joining Maumalo in playing her first Test at international level, Onjeurlina Leiataua has been rewarded for her break out season with the Warriors women’s team, and the stellar part she played in the Kiwi Ferns narrow loss against the Jillaroos at Mt Smart Stadium this year. These achievements saw her pick up Kiwi Ferns Rookie of the Year.
Promising youngster, Isaiah Papali’i wins Junior Player of the Year for the second consecutive year, having been awarded Warriors Rookie of the Year and receiving his Kiwis debut in England after leading the Junior Kiwis in their match-up against the Junior Kangaroos in October.
This year’s award winners showcase players and match officials performing at the pinnacle of rugby league, as well as community representatives and volunteers who prove to be the backbone of grassroots rugby league in New Zealand.
New Zealand Rugby League wishes to congratulate the award winners from all 13 categories below:
Pirtek Female Volunteer – Karen Gibbons Karen Gibbons (Akarana, Auckland)
Pirtek Male Volunteer – Lawrence Erihe (Mid Central, Manawatu)
Grassroots Club of the Year – South Pacific Raiders (Southern, Otago)
Domestic Coach of the Year – Keith Hanley (Akarana, Auckland)
Match Official of the Year – Paki Parkinson (Upper Central, Bay of Plenty)
NZ 16s Player of the Year – Sione Moala (Counties Manukau, Auckland)
NZ 18s Player of the Year – Tyler Slade (NZ Warriors)
Domestic Premier Player of the Year – Francis Leger (Akarana, Auckland)
Kiwi Fern Rookie of the Year – Onjeurlina Leiataua (NZ Warriors)
Kiwis Rookie of the Year – Ken Maumalo (NZ Warriors)
Kiwis Fern Player of the Year – Honey Hireme (St George Illawarra Dragons)
Kiwis Player of the Year – Jared Waerea-Hargreaves (Sydney Roosters)
Each month we acknowledge a Pirtek Volunteer who has contributed a great deal to rugby league and this month we congratulate the efforts of Rose Nahu from Central Rugby League Inc. Rotorua. There are few and far who can say they have achieved the things that Rose has achieved in the many years she has dedicated to the game.
“My fondest memory of rugby league was waking up in the early hours of the morning to watch the Kiwis test matches. Players like Gary Freeman, Howie Tamati, the Iro brothers and so many more” she said.
With almost a decade tenure as treasurer, in her time Rose has successfully turned around the financial status of her local club. She has also brought sponsorship into the club on several occasions including providing tracksuits and boots for players.
Aside from her treasurer role Rose also wears several other hats from coach and trainer to administrator.
“Rugby league has been a part of the Nahu whanau as far back as I can remember. My grandparents, father, step father, mum, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews and mokos have contributed at club, district and national level as players, coaches, representatives, volunteers and supporters of the game for five generations. You can say it’s in the blood.”
Rose was nominated by Kerry Mason who had nothing but high praises for her work.
“Rose has been a shining light in the community and is a huge benefit to Bay of Plenty Rugby League and Upper Central Zone respectively” he said.
“You have to have a passion for the game to commit the time I and so many volunteers contribute on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis. I love supporting, participating and contributing to the game of Rugby League” she said.
To nominate a volunteer click here.