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No. 65 (December 1968)
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Young Maori
Man and
Woman of
the Year

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Mrs Letty Brown of Te Atatu, receives the Wi Tako Trophy as ‘Young Maori Woman of the Year’
National Publicity Studios

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The Minister of Maori Affairs, Mr J. R. Hanan presents Mr Apanui (Neil) Watene with the ‘Young Maori Man of the Year’ Award

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One of the highlights of the Maori Council's ‘Focus on Maori Youth Week’ was the presentation of the ‘Young Maori Man of the Year’ and ‘Young Maori Woman of the Year’ awards.

Mrs Letty Brown of Te Atatu, who had been chosen the winner at the Maori Women's Welfare League Conference in Whangarei, received a medallion, $100, and the Wi Tako Trophy. In addition, $900 was placed in trust to be used by Mrs Brown in her communtiy work.

Similar cash awards and a medallion were given to the ‘Young Maori Man of the Year’. Mr Apanui (Neil) Watene, son of the late P. T. Watene, M.P., who has followed his father as welfare officer at the Gear Meat Company, Petone. The cash awards and medallions were given by Sir Jack Butland, and his generosity was praised by speakers at the function, Sir Turi Carroll, president of the Maori Council, Mrs Miria Karauria, president of the Maori Women's Welfare League, and the Minister of Maori Affairs, Mr J. R. Hanan, who made the presentations. Speaking on behalf of Sir Jack Butland was Mr K. Simich.

About 300 guests attended the function, held at the New Zealand Display Centre. Entertainment was given by Maori artists.

Forum and Concert

The following day, in a forum held at Ngati Poneke Hall, discussion on the Maori Council's contact with young people resulted in the suggestion that a Junior Maori Council be formed. This was to be discussed by the executive.

Climax of the weekend was a Maori concert in St James' Theatre, where a variety of entertainers performed before a capacity audience which included the Governor-General, Sir Arthur Porritt and Lady Porritt. Maori clubs gave traditional items and the Maori Theatre Trust performed the creation scene from James Ritchie's ‘He Mana Toa’. Other items were given by Myra Love. Peter and Isobel Cowan, Howard Morrison, the Nick Smith Trio, the Ratana Junior Brass Band, and Inia Te Wiata, accompanied by Maurice Till.

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The official group at the presentation. Left to right, standing: Mr K. Simich, representing Sir Jack Butland, Canon Hepa Taepa, Mrs Letty Brown, Mr Neil Watene and Sir Guy Powles, Seated: Mrs Miria Karauria, Mr and Mrs J. R. Hanan, Sir Turi Carroll and Mr Ngakohu Pera