Formerly New Zealand's High Commissioner to the Cook Islands and MP for the Northland Electorate of New Zealand.


Moving forward together

21 November 2019

Celebrating our achievements

After weeks of blustery and changeable Spring weather, the forecast for the coming weekend is sunshine and southerly breezes. That will be perfect for the 30th anniversary Kerikeri Half Marathon due to start from Okaihau at 7.30am on Saturday morning. This is so much more than a Kerikeri event. It attracts competitors from across the Far North, from Whangarei, Auckland and beyond. Last year, around 1800 people took part with 917 runners, 44 competitive walkers and four race chairs.

After the half marathon, many runners and their supporters will stay on for the Kerikeri Street Party that kicks off in the town centre at 5pm. Kerikeri roads will be closed to traffic for an event that last year attracted an estimated 5000 revellers. This community-led, free gathering is a great opportunity for locals and visitors to enjoy live music and entertainment presented on three separate stages. It is also a golden opportunity for our food and beverage producers to show-off just how wonderful our local produce is. Behind the scenes, Council contractors will help to make sure open spaces and facilities are clean, tidy and easily accessible. They will also be on hand to help clean-up afterwards.

The half marathon comes hot on the heels of another premier Far North sporting event - the 2019 Far North District Council Far North Sports Awards, which were held last Friday evening. The event is presented by Sport Northland with this year’s speaking duties skilfully fielded by Kaeo-born, rugby legend Eric Rush. Eric’s presentation left a very appreciative crowd in no doubt that he is as adept behind the podium as he was on the field.

But without a doubt, the standout sportsperson of the evening was Kawakawa-born All Black Jack Goodhue. Jack collected the ASB Code Award for rugby, followed by the Top Energy Sportsman of the Year and, finally, for the second year in a row, the Far North District Council Supreme Award. Jack was unable to attend the awards in person, but his very pleased and proud parents Bernard and Catherine Goodhue accepted the honours on his behalf.

Other Far North sportspeople recognised were Black Fern Te Kura Ngata Aerengamate, who collected both the ASB Senior Code Award for rugby and the Top Energy Sportswoman of the Year. Fullers Greatsights Team of the Year went to Waka Ama Herberts on Tour, while the ASB Junior Sportsperson of the Year was won by Alex Edwards for her outstanding achievements in spearfishing.

I think it’s great that these awards not only recognise the achievements of our outstanding sports women and men, but also honour the work of coaches, officials and other sporting leaders. This year Georgia Grimme picked up Coach of the Year for her Equestrian work, and rugby coach, Jaco Cronje, was recognised as Official of the Year. The Leadership Award went to Mike Edmonds for his contributions to Kaikohe Rugby Football and Sports Club.

I’m proud that the Council is a key supporter of this annual event – the district’s premier sports awards evening. My warmest congratulations go to all the award winners.



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