3 Dec 2017

Women shine at Māori Sports Awards

6:52 pm on 3 December 2017

Māori sportswomen led the way at the 27th Annual Māori Sports Awards with Black Ferns star Portia Woodman claiming two major awards.

Black Fern Portia Woodman

Black Fern Portia Woodman Photo: Photosport

Portia Woodman shared the Albie Pryor Memorial Sports Person of the year with All Black Rieko Ioane and also picked up the trophy for senior Māori sportswoman of the year.

It follows the Ngāpuhi descendant's success at the World Rugby Awards in Monaco, where the Black Ferns won team of the year and she won women's player of the year.

Portia Woodman, Michaela Blyde, Kelly Brazier and Ruby Tui, World Rugby Awards 2017.

Portia Woodman, Michaela Blyde, Kelly Brazier and Ruby Tui, World Rugby Awards 2017. Photo: 2017 World Rugby

Terina Te Tamaki was at the Māori Sports Awards representing the World Series Championship winning Black Fern's seven side.

"I definitely look at our girls like Portia who's nominated for sportswomen and also Sarah Goss so it's really inspiring for me even," Te Tamaki said.

Straight out of high school Te Tamaki secured a professional contract - which became her first full time job.

She said she learnt first hand the grind of professional sports life and knows the hard work her team-mates put into their careers.

"The way that women are performing at the moment, it's outstanding, and I guess why wouldn't you put us on equal plates."

The ACC Sportsmart Māori in World Champion Teams are John Kirkpatrick, left, Joel Henare, Shannon Mcilroy, Mary Ann Baty, Terina Te Tamaki, Thomas Enoka, and Nathan Nukunuku at the  27th Maori Sports Awards in Auckland.

The ACC Sportsmart Māori in World Champion Teams are John Kirkpatrick, left, Joel Henare, Shannon Mcilroy, Mary Ann Baty, Terina Te Tamaki, Thomas Enoka, and Nathan Nukunuku at the 27th Maori Sports Awards in Auckland. Photo: Photosport

Mavis Mullins won the sports administrator of the year award and said in the past women played more of a role behind the scenes in sports.

However, Mullins said there has been a noticeable shift in the last few years.

"What we're starting to see now is a higher level of participation in elite sportsmanship by our women it's just a really cool thing to be able to be just part of."

Lawna Kahi from Aotearoa Football said when she was coming through the sporting ranks women did not always follow through with sporting careers.

Kahi said she saw Football ferns such as Amber Hearn and Abby Erceg giving their all to the sport - and knows football can be tough for women striving for equality.

"They go out and they give 120 minutes of pure sport and that's from warm up to cool down they need to be paid what they're worth."

Taylor Parker is an up and coming football player who has worked with Aotearoa Football to not only improve her game but engage with her taha Māori.

Mixing her passion for the game and her role as a wāhine Māori is something which makes her feel proud.

Parker said she wanted to be a role model for other young wāhine playing the sport.

"We're just lucky (as) females we don't have big egos so we deal with it we just go forward and we just do it," she said.

A total of 11 individual Māori world champions, and 47 Māori in world champion teams, were honoured at the awards at the Vodafone Events Centre.

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