For 25 years, since 1995, the North Harbour Club and Charitable Trust has been granting scholarships to young people of the North Harbour region who have been achieving excellence across the fields of the Arts, Innovation, Music, Education, Sport and Service to the Community. These are called the AIMES Awards. Applicants across the three categories – AIMES, Emerging Talent, Junior Excellence – are aged under 25 years of age, with the Junior category being aged 10 to 13 years and the AIMES and AIMES Emerging Talent category 14 to 25 years. Since 1995 over $2.5 million worth of grants have been made. In these following pages we profile the recipients of the 2020 AIMES Awards.
For more information visit: www.northharbourclub.co.nz
Presented to... Kit Reilly (25)
Dancing in New York, Shanghai, London and Sydney are among the performance highlights of former Takapuna Grammar School student, Kit Reilly. The professional dancer and choreographer began carving out his career following graduation from the prestigious New Zealand School of Dance in 2017.
Winning the 2014 AIMES Emerging Talent Award helped enable Kit to complete his full-time dance studies in Sydney and go on to win a place at New Zealand’s foremost dance academy. With this, came opportunities to dance in China, the USA and Australia. Since graduating three years ago, Kit has worked hard to make his dream of becoming a professional dancer a reality.
In 2018, Kit performed with Rambert Dance Company in London, appeared in stage shows and music videos and collaborated on the acclaimed multi-media performance, Rushes. He found time to return to Takapuna Grammar as a guest tutor and also began work on his own full-length choreographic work during a residency at Wellesley Studios, under the direction of New Zealand dance patron Katrina Todd ONZM. Kit’s work, Utopia #9, features a self-composed musical score and premiered to sold-out audiences at Auckland’s Tempo Dance Festival in October 2019 and on a preceeding Wellington tour.
Last year, he collaborated on a new musical, Edges of the Map, and completed a residency at Lucy Guerin Inc in Melbourne. He travelled to Australia’s national centre for choreographic development - STRUT Dance in Perth, attended workshops with Dutch choreographer Anouk van Dijk and Footnote Dance, and worked with ABC studios for upcoming US TV series, The Wilds.
Kit’s scheduled performance at Canada’s Springboard Danse Montréal in June this year was curtailed due to Covid-19. However, he managed to secure himself a place as company dancer with New Zealand’s new contemporary ballet company, Ballet Collective Aotearoa.
Next, the 25 year-old wishes to create a second full choreographic work, this time with a film score. Through a series of dance films, Kit hopes to inspire unity, celebrate human resilience and ensure his art is accessible internationally, at a time when live performance is restricted across the world.
Kit Reilly receives the North Harbour Club AIMES Arts Award – sponsored by ASB – and a cash grant of $15,000. All of our AIMES Award Winners also receive a 12 month gym membership from AUT Millennium.
Presented to... Grace Stratton (21)
Grace Stratton is a model, blogger, businesswoman, advocate and soon-to-be lawyer. The former Carmel College student was the only Kiwi named in the 2019 InStyle Badass 50 - Women Shaping The World. Her pioneering work founding an online shopping platform aimed at the needs of disabled shoppers is original and innovative. Being the driver of a world first, global movement, Grace was awarded a 2019 New Zealand Youth Innovator award and was nominated as Young New Zealander of the Year – all while studying law at AUT.
Through advocating for body positivity, and modelling herself - most notably for Lonely Lingerie. Grace is helping to change the face of the fashion world. Diagnosed with cerebral palsy at the age of one, Grace has spent her life in a wheelchair. But her disability isn’t her story – what she’s done with it is.
While recovering from one of many surgeries, Grace built a website at the age of 16 from her hospital bed. This would evolve into ‘All is for All’ - a world-first business that helps disabled people navigate the fashion world and buy products online. All is for All has since grown into a communications, talent and media agency that breaks boundaries and reframes disability in society.
The 22 year-old opened New Zealand Fashion Week 2019 as keynote speaker and has written widely about the need for more diversity – not just in fashion, but everywhere – and for stories about disability that don't just revolve around inspiration or pity. She says, she ‘lived in a world that wasn’t designed for me, or people like me’. So she set about changing that. Her overarching aspiration is to effect ‘widespread system change’.
In law, Grace has a particular interest in criminal defence work. She is passionate about making sure people have the representation they deserve and that the law is held to account.
While continuing towards her degree, Grace aims to grow the work of All is for All, creating more opportunities for disabled people to reach greater heights and have their voices heard. This includes investing in development programmes for the disabled community and designing more opportunities for success.
Grace Stratton receives the North Harbour Club AIMES Innovation Award – sponsored by Massey University – and a cash grant of $15,000. All of our AIMES Award Winners also receive a 12 month gym membership from AUT Millennium. Grace Stratton was also chosen as the AIMES Supreme Award Winner for 2020, receiving a further $15,000 and the Sir Peter Blake Trophy.
Presented to... Olivia McNeill (23)
Dreams of becoming a professional orchestral musician are edging closer towards reality for 23 year-old Olivia McNeill. The former Westlake Girls’ High student was this year selected for a Master of Music at a prestigious music programme in Germany, seeing off competition from over 70 international applicants. Coupled with her passion for music, Olivia’s talent for playing the violin seemingly knows no bounds.
Since the age of 13, Olivia has been part of the NZSO National Youth Orchestra and received a Licentiate of Trinity College London Diploma with distinction, at the age of 14. Her graduation with a Bachelor of Music in violin performance from the University of Auckland last year wasn’t Olivia’s first graduation. She also studied for a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in German studies, alongside this.
Concertmaster of the University of Auckland Symphony and Chamber Orchestras, Olivia is a recipient of the Tom and Anne Morris Violin Prize, as well as the Carl and Alberta Rosenfeldt Prize in Chamber Music. She formed her own chamber ensemble – The Chiaro Quartet – with whom she won the Auckland Chamber Music Society Prize. She was also a finalist in the Royal Overseas League Scholarship, a London-based chamber music competition for top tertiary and graduate music students from across the world.
Inspired by a school exchange to Munich in 2012 and a tour of Europe as concertmaster of Westlake Symphony and Chamber Orchestras in 2014, Olivia has harboured a wish to study and play music in Germany; hence her music and German conjoint degrees. This year, she auditioned at several universities across Germany (through video submissions, due to Covid-19) and subsequently received invitations from four violin professors, each inviting Olivia to join their programme.
She is excited to have accepted her place at the University of the Arts in Bremen and aims to use her AIMES Award grant to fund this study and further her dream of becoming a professional orchestral violinist and chamber musician.
Olivia McNeill receives the North Harbour Club AIMES Music Award – sponsored by Yamaha Home Entertainment – and a cash grant of $15,000. All of our AIMES Award Winners also receive a 12 month gym membership from AUT Millennium.
Presented to... Richard Rahardja (22)
New Zealand karate representative Richard Rahardja was only the fourth Kiwi ever to achieve an international podium finish in the sport. His 2015 bronze medal at the Junior World Championship earned Richard an emerging talent nomination at the Halberg Awards and, remarkably, came after a long recovery from five-hour spinal fusion surgery to correct a slipped vertebral disc at the age of 14.
The former Rosmini Deputy Head Boy’s challenging exposure to the medical system prompted him to want to study medicine and become an orthopaedic surgeon. Developing a passion for academic research, Richard was awarded a research scholarship, working alongside consultant orthopaedic surgeon Mr Simon Young and orthopaedic registrar Dr Mark Zhu at North Shore Hospital. Through study of post-operative knee replacement outcomes, Richard achieved his first academic publication in a respected international medical journal as a second-year medical student.
Inspired by sporting injury research, the aim of Richard’s thesis was ‘to reduce the risk of ACL reconstruction failure by identifying the rate of reinjury in New Zealand’. His research earned him publication in a further three international medical journals, making him one of the most published medical students the university has ever seen.
Richard was invited to present three of his ACL studies at the 2020 American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeon’s (AAOS) annual scientific meeting and passed his Bachelor of Medical Science degree with first-class honours. He won the University of Auckland Vision in Medical Science Prize for best oral thesis presentation.
The 22 year-old remains passionate about clinical research and is working on four new studies, including a follow-up ACL study with important implications for elite athletes, which Richard hopes to publish in the American Journal of Sports Medicine.
The former Northcote St Mary’s Primary pupil is aiming to present his work at the New Zealand Orthopaedic Association annual meeting this year and has submitted his current studies for presentation at the 2021 AAOS annual meeting to be held in San Diego, USA. His AIMES Award will go directly towards enabling him to attend and present his work at these conferences.
Richard Rahardja receives the North Harbour Club AIMES Education Award – sponsored by Kristin School – and a cash grant of $15,000. All of our AIMES Award Winners also receive a 12 month gym membership from AUT Millennium.
Presented to... Oscar Gunn (21)
The Olympic dream may have been delayed for North Shore sailor Oscar Gunn, but his campaign to compete in 2024 continues apace. The former Kristin School student took gold in the New Zealand 49er National Championships in 2018 and 2019, and, with sailing partner Logan Dunning-Beck, is charting a course to repeat this medal at the Paris Olympics in four
Oscar was six when he took up the sport of sailing and has been racing competitively since the age of nine. Having worked his way through the classes of Murrays Bay Sailing Club - sailing the Optimist, P Class, Starling and 29er – Oscar spent the past four years training with Logan for the Tokyo Olympics. Though the pair have proven themselves consistently on the world stage over the past three years, they narrowly missed out on 2020 Olympic selection to sailing stalwarts and their training partners, Peter Burling and Blair Tuke.
Determined to persevere, Oscar and Logan committed themselves to a gold medal campaign in Paris 2024. And they’ve made a good start-landing a fifth place at last year’s world championships and top five placings in many international competitions since Oscar won the AIMES Emerging Talent award in 2018.
Although plans for 2020 have changed radically due to Covid-19, Oscar and teammate Logan have been taking the opportunity to analyse and improve their technical understanding of their sailing equipment. Oscar is studying for a mechanical engineering degree at AUT alongside his sailing pursuits and has taken on three extra papers at university to progress his study. He has also used this time to help coach a 29er team, which finished second at the recent 29er National Championships.
This year, Oscar has been selected for New Zealand’s Royal Akarana Youth America’s Cup team. He hopes this honour will help pave the way for America’s Cup selection in the future.
Oscar says winning this AIMES Award represents a strong start to his Paris 2024 campaign and hopes it will help enable him to join the list of AIMES recipients to have won Olympic medals.
Oscar Gunn receives the North Harbour Club AIMES Sport Award – sponsored by AUT Millennium – and a cash grant of $15,000. All of our AIMES Award Winners also receive a 12 month gym membership from AUT Millennium.
Presented to... Matthew Goldsworthy (20)
Talented pianist Matthew Goldsworthy used music as a creative outlet to counteract the mental health struggles he experienced during his early years at high school. After moving to Northcote College in Year 11, he realised he felt strongly about helping others discover the power of music and the arts. So he found a way of increasing students’ access to arts opportunities, by taking it upon himself to establish Northcote College Arts Council and its annual Arts Showcase.
On finishing college, Matthew instigated a project he called, ‘The Thing About Music’, bringing together over 20 young musicians from across the North Shore. The resulting gig featured Dave Baxter of Avalanche City who performed the band’s hit single, ‘Love, Love, Love’, alongside the young musicians for the finale. In that proud moment, Matthew says he knew he was doing what he was meant to do. The next morning, ‘Youth Arts New Zealand’ was born.
Over the past two years, Matthew has led YANZ in delivering over 30 projects. These initiatives include facilitating a discussion between Mick Fleetwood, Bob Geldof and 10 young local artists at Roundhead Studios, establishing Te Kahui - a creative writing programme for young prisoners, and arts-focused participation in ATEED’s Youth Working Group 2020.
Matthew saw his AIMES Emerging Talent Award 2018 as a ‘huge validation’ of his work. The social and financial impact, he says, gave him the confidence to pursue community work further. He has since established YANZ as a charitable trust, with a three-year strategic plan and a talented board in place to further its work. Over 200 local young artists, musicians and writers have already benefitted directly from the organisation.
The 20 year-old already holds many arts advisory roles, including with Auckland Council, and is keen to pursue an MBA in Creative Leadership at the Berlin School of Creative Leadership in Germany. Carrying out most of his YANZ work voluntarily, this award ‘means the absolute world’ to Matthew as he carries the torch of youth arts forward in unprecedented times.
Matthew Goldsworthy receives the North Harbour Club AIMES Service to the Community Award – sponsored by Albany Toyota – and a cash grant of $15,000. All of our AIMES Award Winners also receive a 12 month gym membership from AUT Millennium.
NORTH HARBOUR CLUB ROSS FINLAYSON AWARDS - Sponsored by Alvarium
Isobel Campbell (24)
Education: Science and Innovation
24 year old former Kristin School student Isobel Campbell is a chemistry graduate (University of Canterbury) who’s passionate about the potential of science to tackle global issues. She believes that uniting science innovation with the commercial world will drive solutions to sustainability challenges.
Isobel has recently been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship (2021-2023) to study a Master of Environmental Management at Yale University, with the intention to specialise in both Business and the Environment, and Industrial Ecology and Green Chemistry.
Isobel is a real leader. As a DOC volunteer she recruited and coordinated over 800 volunteers for Operation Tidy Fox, the project to clean-up the Fox River on the West Coast. Isobel says she was privileged to observe the power of mobilising the masses. Initially, with only 10 people a day, the task seemed insurmountable. With the support of government funds, they had over 100 volunteers per day. Eight weeks later the rubbish was cleaned up.
“Pulling out piece after piece of plastic from tangled tree roots and silty riverbed was a reminder of humanity’s impact on earth. A reminder that every piece of plastic we have ever used is still around.”
Isobel’s achievements also include:- Bachelor of Science (Advanced - Global Challenges – First Class Honours) at Monash University; Monash Science Communication Award; Monash Scholarship for Exceptional Achievement; Co-founded Let’s Torque, a STEM public speaking competition in Melbourne. Co-founded startup, ‘The Cricket Effect’ producing cricket flour muesli bars; University of Canterbury Emerging Leaders’ Scholarship & Undergraduate Entrance Scholarship; Rochester & Rutherford Academic Entrance Scholarship; Kristin School International Baccalaureate Dux; Kristin School Science Cup, Theory of Knowledge Cup; AUT Scholarship to the London International Youth Science Forum.
Isobel has recently been working at AgResearch and says that future aspirations are to help the commercial world transition towards scientifically-sound solutions to sustainability challenges. She intends to be in leadership roles at the intersection of commercialisation, sustainability and science innovation.
Isobel Campbell receives the North Harbour Club Ross Finlayson Award - sponsored by Alvarium Wealth, and will attend a leadership development course of her choosing.
Lina Kim (23)
Service to the Community: Community Leadership
23 year old former Westlake Girls student Lina Kim has previously received an AIMES Emerging Talent Award in 2015, also recognising her efforts in Service to the Community.
Five years ago (at her AIMES interview) her stated goal was to become Prime Minister. She says that ambition hasn’t changed since.
Lina, who’s in her final year as a BA/LLB (Hons) student at the University of Auckland, is embarking on a journey to bring societal change. Service to the community and leadership has always been her driver, and she is certainly not sitting still.
Lina Kim was born in New Zealand, raised by South Korean parents. She has co-founded an entity called PAUA, an initiative that aims to empower cultural conversations at work places in New Zealand, with a focus on the professional services sector. (Facebook: PauaNZ, website: www.paua.network).
She has also been President of the Auckland Law Students’ Society (2019) and was involved in the Constitution for Aotearoa NZ Student Discussion Forum with Sir Geoffrey Palmer and Dr Andrew Butler. Lina was also selected to represent New Zealand youth on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs funded research trip to South East Asia. She was a finalist for McKinsey Australasia’s Women in Leadership as the sole New Zealand candidate.
Other recent achievements include being student representative on the Legal Research Foundation; runner-up in the John Haigh QC Criminal Law Moot; leading the Auckland Ambassadors Programme for UN Youth Auckland.
Currently Lina is working as a law clerk at Russell McVeagh and as a graduate teaching assistant at the University of Auckland. Her future aspiration is to commence an LLM (Masters) overseas after completing her LLB.
“Having experienced the international stage, the scale and influence of international business and networks, I wish to immerse myself in a global setting to become a leader recognisable on the international stage,” said Lina in her AIMES Application.
Lina Kim receives the North Harbour Club Ross Finlayson Award – sponsored by Alvarium Wealth – and will attend a leadership development course of her choosing.
EMERGING TALENT AWARDS - Sponsored by Bellingham Wallace
Pippi Duncan (17)
Arts: Creative writer
17 year old Takapuna Grammar School student Pippi Duncan has always harboured a love for writing. In 2021 she will attend Victoria University in Wellington to undertake a Bachelor of Communications. As well as core courses on research and applied projects, her major will be Literary and Creative Communications.
Pippi says this study encompasses everything from film to journalism to poetry. “Most exciting of all, my minor will be Creative Writing at the International Institute of Modern Letters (IIML). I am interested in publishing stories with uniquely New Zealand relevance and themes, expanding opportunities for New Zealand writers. I believe we have a story to tell.”
Pippi says that she is driven to focus her attention into developing clear, persuasive and imaginative writing.
“The opportunities I have been able to take to pursue my love for writing are, in no small part, thanks to individuals who strive to further creative writing in our country. One is Charlotte Gibbs from Devonport. Her literary Toitoi journals for Kiwi kids aged 5-13 gave me the confidence to write from a young age, which changed the course of my life. Another is Michael King Writers Centre.”
Pippi’s achievements in creative writing include being published in Starling, Issue 10; National Schools Poetry Award 2019 Runner-Up; Chris Cole Catley Writing Awards 2019 Third Prize; spoken poem ‘Illuminate’ won the Poetry Category of TGS Poetry and Songwriting Award 2019 & Faulalo Poetry Writing Award; Paradox Books Short Story Writing Competition 2020 Winner.
Pippi is a high achiever academically. Throughout NCEA Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3, she achieved straight excellence in Media Studies and English (bar one).
Pippi is also a leader: TGS Prefect 2020; leader of Maori Committee and member of Junior and Social Committees; founder of TGS Poetry Club 2020; founder of TGS Ghostwrite 2020; senior member of TGS Journalism Club 2019/20; key content creator TGS pages in the Devonport Flagstaff; senior member of TGS Yearbook Club 2019/20; lead TGS Librarian 2019/20; member of the TGS Choir groups 2016-2020.
Pippi Duncan receives the North Harbour Club AIMES Emerging Talent Award – sponsored by Bellingham Wallace – and a cash grant of $7500.
Cruz Erdmann (14)
Arts: Underwater Photographer
In October last year 14 year old Westlake Boys High School student Cruz Erdmann won the title of Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year, a top award from the London Natural History Museum. This is considered the world’s most prestigious competition for wildlife and conservation photography.
Cruz’s entry – of a big fin reef squid – was selected from nearly 49,000 entries from around the globe. It was the first underwater image in the history of the competition to win in the Young Wildlife Photographer category.
Cruz was invited to speak at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. He presented a 14-minute visual presentation of his underwater photos “Hidden Worlds in Our Ocean” alongside National Geographic’s Explorer-in-Residence, Dr Sylvia Earle. He spoke about his story as an underwater photographer, about the beauty and importance of our oceans, and why they needed to be protected and managed. He participated in several other presentations, panels and events throughout the Forum, including a contingent of “Young Change Makers” from around the world.
Cruz’s story and conservation message recently featured in the 2020 edition of “Stone Soup for the World: Life-Changing Stories of Everyday Heroes”. This book is part of a blueprint in building a sustainable world.
Cruz plans to continue to use his photos to showcase the wonder and beauty of our oceans, especially in New Zealand. His AIMES Awards funds will be used to purchase new camera and video equipment.
“For now, I would like to concentrate on taking photos in New Zealand and continue to enter wildlife photo contests while spreading conservation messages through my social media platforms,” explained Cruz in his AIMES Award application. “Through my father, who is marine biologist for Conservation International New Zealand, I occasionally have opportunities to join trips with him and other marine scientists and learn from them. I want to continue to build my media and conservation networks around the world, but especially here in New Zealand because I think a lot can be done right here to improve the health of our ocean.”
Cruz Erdmann receives the North Harbour Club AIMES Emerging Talent Award – sponsored by Bellingham Wallace – and a cash grant of $7500.
Jasmine Jared (15)
Innovation: entrepreneur/app developer
15 year old Rangitoto College student Jasmine Jared’s AIMES Award application was led with this quote by Alan Kay: “The best way to predict the future is to invent it.” It really does set the scene for her ambitions. This is Jasmine’s second award from the North Harbour Club; she won a Junior Excellence Award in 2017.
Jasmine went on to say, “I believe that I qualify for the AIMES award as I’m on a mission to create leading innovative apps in order to solve every day needs”. Jasmine’s apps include ‘iSpeed’ – feel like you’re going over the speed limit; iLearn – textbooks aren’t your style of learning; DoctorKiwi – feeling sick and need a diagnosis; eBackpack – backpacks bothering you; Scentwake – dislike any alarm in general. Most of these applications are available free in the Microsoft store. The total downloads for the range of applications Jasmine has created is over 40,000 and ad banner impressions are over a million monthly.
Notable achievements for Jasmine to date have included: 2017/2018 – ASB Brightsparks Awards, National finalist; 2017 – ASB Brightsparks Awards, 1st in Junior Software; 2019 – North Harbour Science and Technology Fair Premier Award; SAP Young ICT Explorers, National finalist. Jasmine is currently working towards a Technology and Economics scholarship and has entered the 2020 SAP Young ICT explorers international competition with her latest project. Recently she has also been busy with NCEA exams.
Jasmine’s future aspiration is to become an entrepreneur who changes the world for the better by solving all kinds of problems that people face on a daily basis.
With her AIMES Award funds Jasmine plans to kick- start one of her first businesses and says that no matter how long it takes, eventually something will be brought out to the world that is truly magical. She will also use the funds to support her further education within the field of business and technology.
Jasmine Jared receives the North Harbour Club AIMES Emerging Talent Award – sponsored by Bellingham Wallace – and a cash grant of $7500.
Christopher Justin Pereira (19)
19 year old former Rosmini College student and singer/songwriter Christopher Justin Pereira’s passion for music began as a nine year old at St Leo’s School in Devonport. He co-founded a band called Slipstream – influenced by the music of AC/DC, Tool, John Mayer and others. At ages 10/11 their first performance was at the Masonic Tavern.
At Rosmini, Christopher Justin (or CJ as he is known), was heavily involved in music, representing the school as lead guitarist at music competitions every year, winning gold awards in 2018 and 2019 at Auckland Jazz and Blues Club Combo Bands Comp.
CJ has also been a community organiser. He was part of Converge from 2016-2019, the youth council of the Devonport Peninsula Trust, helping organise Devonstock and Sunday Showcase, youth music, dance and film making events.
As well as being a singer/songwriter, CJ is a percussionist, guitarist and co-producer. Slipstream released an EP in 2019 and CJ has released two solo singles on Spotify, iTunes and Tidal – ‘Miles Apart’ and ‘One Last Time’. These have been aired worldwide. His self-titled album ‘Christopher Justin’ was released in August 2020. His instrument capability is not confined to the guitar. For a solo music project project in 2019 he played every instrument except the drums.
CJ has recently accepted the opportunity to study a Bachelor of Music at the University of Southern California (USC) which commenced in August 2020.
He has been an outstanding academic student as well, having offers to study Engineering at Auckland University and Aerospace Engineering at Purdue University, Rutgers University and the University of Colorado in the US. He has achieved Excellence endorsements in music, mathmatics, English, design and visual arts, classical studies and chemistry. He was also chosen to attend New Zealand Model United Nations conference in Wellington while at Rosmini College.
Christopher Justin (CJ) Pereira receives the North Harbour Club AIMES Emerging Talent Award – sponsored by Bellingham Wallace – and a cash grant of $7500.
Cameron McTaggart (22)
Former Kristin School student Cameron McTaggart is focussed on competing at the Tokyo Olympics, rescheduled for mid next year.
He is currently ranked first in Oceania in the 81kg class and subject to retaining this ranking after the Oceania champs (held in Australia sometime before April 2021), he will be named in the team. He says Covid-19 has had devastating effects on his programme but he has been lucky to be re-employed by Gary Howarth at The Drug Detection Agency. So 2020 has been balancing training and full time work. Adding to his challenges is weightlifting no longer being a ‘carded’ sport to receive funding from High Performance Sport New Zealand.
Cameron received a North Harbour Club AIMES Sports Scholarship in 2019 that made it possible for him to attend the World Cup in China, one of his best competitions to date, keeping him in the running for the Olympic Games. He needs to meet the qualifying criteria of a minimum of six international competitions, which have all been self-funded.
Cameron’s successes have been strong in the past decade, and include several junior medals at Oceania Championships, Youth World Championships, Youth Olympics, World Junior Championships and Commonwealth Champs. Most recently, the Youth Olympics representative was the first lifter ever to break more than 100 national records, won bronze at the 2018 Commonwealth Games (-77kg); bronze at the 2019 EGAT Cup (-81kg); gold at the ARAFURA Games (-81kg); gold at the 2019 Oceania Championships (-81kg); bronze at the 2019 Commonwealth Championships (-81kg); 2019 EGAT cup Bronze Medalist (-81kg); 2019 Pacific Games gold (-81kg); 2019 China World Cup 6th Place (-81kg); 2020 Australian Open gold (-89kg).
Cameron also holds a number of records, including: -81kg NZ Snatch Record 141kg; -81kg NZ Clean and Jerk Record 169kg; -81kg NZ Total Record 310kg; -89kg NZ Snatch Record 140kg; -89kg NZ Clean and Jerk Record 170kg; -89kg NZ Total Record 310kg; -81kg Oceania Snatch Record 141kg; -81kg Oceania Clean and Jerk Record 169kg; -81kg Oceania Total Record 310kg.
Cameron plans to return to university next year to study nutrition.
Cameron McTaggart receives the North Harbour Club AIMES Emerging Talent Award – sponsored by Bellingham Wallace – and a cash grant of $7500.
Taine Murray (18)
Rosmini College student Taine Murray has a passion for basketball that has seen him represent the Tall Blacks on two tours by the tender age of 18. These tours were to Japan and Australia in 2019 for the build-up to the World Cup and Tokyo Olympics, and a second tour in February this year playing Australia and Guam in Olympic preparation.
Taine has achieved this while still being at school. In his final year at Rosmini he has also been a Prefect and Sports Captain. He has also been a New Zealand NBL player for the Auckland Huskies, a Junior Tall Black and Harbour rep player.
Taine is considered to be one of New Zealand’s outstanding basketball prospects. But his ambitions go beyond the court as he is also an achiever academically. “I will continue to work hard to see how far I can go with my basketball career. My short term goals would be to be chosen for the Tall Blacks Olympic Team and have a successful career at University in USA at the Division One level. My academic goal for this year in Year 13 is to gain Excellence Endorsement in Level Three. My longer goals are to turn professional after university, and to represent my country as a New Zealand Tall Black.”
This is no surprise to most as Taine is hardworking and committed to his sport, a strong leader, mentally strong, a good communicator and very coachable.
In February he attended the Basketball Without Borders Camp held in Chicago. This was a selection of the top 35 men's high school players from around the world, invite only, held by the NBA in partnership with Nike.
Observers said… “A new name to come out of the camp is New Zealand guard Taine Murray. Murray has a sturdy build with good positional size (6-foot-5) for a guard prospect. Murray showed good shooting ability, played with energy and displayed feel as a passer”.
He subsequently received scholarship offers to numerous basketball programmes at Universities in the United States. He has chosen the University of Virginia on a four-year scholarship, beginning in 2021.
Taine also received an AIMES Sports Scholarship from the North Harbour Club in 2019.
Taine Murray receives the North Harbour Club AIMES Emerging Talent Award – sponsored by Bellingham Wallace – and a cash grant of $7500.
JUNIOR EXCELLENCE AWARDS - Sponsored by Precise Homes
William Colman (13)
Innovation: inventor/product designer and developer
13 year old Northcross Intermediate School student William Colman was encouraged to enter the Junior Excellence Awards by two teachers and his principal. They say he is a very humble young man that is not inclined to ‘blow his own trumpet’. That motivated William’s proud parents to ensure his application was put forward.
William has really excelled over the last 18 months in the field of design and technology. His recent work has been developing ‘The Anti-Capsizer’ – to stop a boat from capsizing. William is a keen sailor and has combined his love of sailing with his love of technology. He has spent hours and hours fine tuning ‘The Anti-Capsizer’ design.
William says his future aspirations include wanting to improve his knowledge in research and design. He would like to explore ways of how to market ‘The Anti-Capsizer’. He would like more people to be able to access it, especially new sailors, as well as looking into other sporting codes it could be used in outside of sailing, such as kitesurfing, windsurfing and land sailing.
“It makes me feel very proud of what I have designed. It was great to combine my love of sailing with my love of technology so I enjoyed the entire design process. I feel very lucky to have very supportive teachers at Northcross Intermediate, Mr Rowlinson and Mrs Gobindlal.”
Over the last 18 months William has been doing additional afterschool education in 3D printing and robotics which he has loved.
William says Junior Excellence Awards funds will assist with:- continued development of ‘The Anti-Capsizer’ through to marketing; access to the latest hardware - buying, renting, approaching people to use their Laser cutter, 3D Printing and CNC machines; software packages; online courses; more prototyping and product development experience; computer upgrade; ‘makercamp’ participation in the school holidays; visit to the Massey University School of Design in Wellington.
William’s recent achievements at Northcross Intermediate have included: principal's Award for Technology; Achieved Progress Outcomes 3 & 4 of the Digital Technologies Curriculum; Certificate of Achievement in Science and Technology; in Northcross team that entered the ‘Epro 8 Challenge’ with the use of robotic technology.
William Colman receives the North Harbour Club Junior Excellence Award – sponsored by Precise Homes – and a cash grant of $3000.
Declan Squire (13)
13-year-old year old Westlake Boys High School student Declan Squire has been involved in music and performing arts since the tender age of five.
He has been playing the trombone for seven years, originally learning from Hayley Barker, then Mark Close (Northcross Intermediate) and currently Jono Tan at Westlake.
At the age of seven, Declan was awarded grade one singing and Grade 1 ABRSM singing and Grade 1 Trinity speech and drama with distinction. He also had a role in ‘Oliver’ at Centrestage.
In 2015/2017 Declan participated in ‘Kids for Kids Slice of Heaven’ at Bruce Mason Centre and in 2016 won the Instrumental category in ‘Orewa Idol’, playing trombone.
In 2017 he played lead trombone in the North Shore Junior Orchestra, in Takapuna. Declan also took up the bass guitar. He was a member of the Orewa Primary School band, performing bass solos and singing solos with the choir.
He was awarded a Certificate of Excellence for Outstanding Achievement in Music at Orewa Primary.
At Northcross Intermediate Declan became involved in the music department, learning alto saxophone, and joining the Concert and Jazz Bands playing lead trombone in both groups. He also passed Grade 3 ABRSM Trombone with Merit.
At Northcross, Declan was awarded ‘Top of School – Concert Band’, ‘Top of Music Group’ and ‘Top of School – Music Technology’.
Declan and friends started a band ‘Purpil’ and were awarded third place in the North Harbour BandQuest. Declan was awarded the Individual Musicianship Award for his alto saxophone playing.
He was also involved in both the Northcross Premier Choir and the Massed Choir.
In 2019 he recorded vocal solos for the World of Wearable
Declan is currently the only year nine student in the Westlake Big Band, quite an achievement. He plays trombone in the Westlake Symphonic Band, plays saxophone in Westlake Stage Band, and auditioned successfully into ‘Voicemale’, the Westlake premier boys choir.
With his Junior Excellence Award funds Declan intends to purchase a new trigger trombone to enable him to continue with his graded exams and to play more complicated music in the Premier Westlake groups.
Declan Squire receives the North Harbour Club Junior Excellence Award – sponsored by Precise Homes – and a cash grant of $3000.
Yuzhang Wu (13)
13 year old Pinehurst School Year 9 student Yuzhang Wu loves music. She began studying piano at age five. Her goal is to become a good concert pianist as well as a good music teacher. Observers say she is well on target to achieve that and a whole lot more.
Yuzhang has won first place at many competitions including North Shore Performing Arts Competition, SAPACS, WAPAC, IRMT, APPA, APMA and Hamilton competitions. As the overall winner of APPA (Music Festival) 2017, she was invited to join the APO Youth Ensemble as solo pianist to play at the Eurochestries Festival in Qingdao China in 2018, followed by the performance in Tianjin.
Yuzhang says the most important award she achieved was the first prize of Piano Group A in the 3rd Zhuhai International Mozart Competition for Young Musicians in September 2019.
“Thanks to this, I was honoured to be invited to the 2020 Concours Musical International de Montreal’s (Canada) first International Junior Piano Invitational Showcase which will feature laureates from the best junior piano competitions around the world. This was postponed to 2021 due to Covid-19.”
“I am very lucky to have good teachers for both Piano and cello. I enjoy my piano lessons at Hillcrest with Mr Bryan Sayer, cello lessons at Pully Sussex Studio at Albany Village, and now Zoom lessons by Dr. Jian Liu from New Zealand School of Music.”
Yuzhang’s goal is to participate in more important competitions at national and international level, like the Wallace National Competition and competitions in US and Europe.
“I know it is going to cost my family a great deal. So I am becoming more and more focused during my lessons and practices. I don’t know the exact fee for my lessons, but I know it is a significant amount for my family. And travelling for international competitions is very expensive. The award funds will be used for my music study and these costs.”
Yuzhang’s hours after school are mainly used for music lessons or practices. She also regularly plays for people in retirement villages like Greenwich Gardens, Ranfurly Village and in different churches with her teachers.
Yuzhang Wu receives the North Harbour Club Junior Excellence Award – sponsored by Precise Homes – and a cash grant of $3000.
Joe Leith (12)
The 2019/2020 sailing year has been very successful for 12 year old Joe Leith, a year 8 student at Murrays Bay Intermediate School. Joe finished the season ranked number one for New Zealand.
Joe, who sails out of the Murrays Bay club, is one of the youngest ever to be ranked number one in New Zealand and has skills and determination well above his age and size. The Optimist Class is the most highly competitive sailing class in New Zealand and the world for sailors under 16.
Approximately 150 New Zealand sailors, aged 10 to 15, compete throughout four regattas (October through to April) to gain rankings points. A tough path to number one!
As number one, Joe was selected for the New Zealand Worlds team to compete at Lake Garda, Italy, in July 2020. This was cancelled due to Covid-19.
Joe is a real all-rounder. He loves playing hockey, rugby, running, cycling and scootering. He is a strong academic student, makes and performs rap songs and catches big fish.
Joe’s achievements: Intermediate Schools regatta AIMS GAMES, Year 7 trophy, second team and third overall out of 67 competitors; Sailed in Oman with New Zealand sailing team, second overall Oceania, 15th overall from 141 international sailors; second in North Island Champs; third from 31 competitors in the Auckland P-Class Champs; 1st Auckland Intermediate schools team event & first year 7 in the Optimist; 1st in Mahurangi Year 7 to10 P Class regatta; third 2019 Sir Peter Blake Regatta & first for his age in the Optimist; 12th Australian nationals in Melbourne & first for his age group; first Auckland Optimist Champs & second overall from 82 competitors; second Inter-Islander Challenge regatta; selected as the first ranked Kiwi to compete in the Optimist Gold Cup in Bermuda.
Once Joe moves on from the Optimist there are a number Yachting New Zealand pathways to podium development programmes Joe may pursue. His goals are to be professional sailor and win gold medals for New Zealand starting at the 2028 Olympics.
Joe Leith receives the North Harbour Club Junior Excellence Award – sponsored by Precise Homes – and a cash grant of $3000.
Karmen-Elizabeth Maritz (12)
Sport: athlete/discus & shotput thrower
12 year old Murrays Bay Intermediate student Karmen-Elizabeth Maritz started athletics at Takapuna Athletics Club aged five and was introduced to discus at seven. She broke her first discus record as an eight year old. At nine, Karmen-Elizabeth joined the Bays Athletics and was named ‘Girls Auckland Athlete of the Year’.
Karmen-Elizabeth has continued to break records ever since. Her love for throwing extends to shotput, javelin and hammer. The sporting all-rounder also competes in many other athletics events. She was awarded at primary school (Sunnynook) for excellence in swimming, cross-country and KidzPlay netball. She was selected for the Netball NH Development squad in Y7 (2019). She also excels in beach volleyball.
Karmen-Elizabeth practices for hours on end, up to four times per week. Her coach, Didier Poppe, recently launched his own website featuring Karmen-Elizabeth’s throwing journey.
“Receiving this award is a great honour and doesn't only make me, my family, school, and community immensely proud, but it becomes part of my legacy to be the best I can be,” says Karmen-Elizabeth. “Winning this grant funding will contribute towards the costs as I chase my dreams in becoming an Olympian one day.”
Recent achievements have included: Trans-Tasman Athletics team 2019, competing in Sydney, and in 2020 in Auckland, winning double gold; North Island Colgate Games in 2018-2020 winning gold in all throwing events; Junior Track and Field Athletic season (2019/2020) collected a total tally of 37 placings (first, second, or third) of which 27 were first places; AAIMS Auckland Athletics Championship (year 7&8) Winning the shotput despite having to throw the 3kg for the first time as 11 year old.
Apart from excellence in sport Karmen-Elizabeth plays the clarinet in Murrays Bay Intermediate Concert Band and has performed as a pianist at the Auckland Concert Hall in the Annual Suzuki concert and at several concerts at retirement villages under the expert eye of her very passionate music tutor Clare McCormack.
Karmen-Elizabeth will attend Westlake Girls in 2021 and is looking forward to continuing in her sports and is keen to give rowing a go as it looks like a lot of fun.
Karmen-Elizabeth Maritz receives the North Harbour Club Junior Excellence Award – sponsored by Precise Homes – and a cash grant of $3000.
Jack Denny (13)
13 year old Takapuna Grammar student Jack Denny is a gymnast who started in the sport at the age of three. This early entry was due to older brother Isaac already being a gymnast. Following in Isaac’s footsteps he was selected into the competitive programme for North Harbour Gymnastics at the age of five.
Jack is a real all-rounder, competing in six apparatus – Floor, Pommel, Rings, Vault, P-Bar and High Bar. At the 2019 Nationals Jack achieved ‘First All-Around’ and medalled in all six apparatus on the second day. He went on to receive the Special Award – North Harbour Junior Gymnast of the Year at prizegiving, further rewards for the 18 hours of training Jack puts in each week at North Harbour Gymnastics.
Earlier in the year he represented New Zealand for the first time at the Valeri Liukin Invitational in Texas USA, being youngest in the team.
“Wearing the New Zealand uniform was something I had been striving to do for a couple of years. It was an amazing experience training at WOGA and competing at Dallas Cowboys Stadium. Other competitors had recently been selected for the Youth Olympic squad, so I was proud of my 12th Overall placing at my first International event.”
Since 2016 Jack has been part of ‘MAG Squad 360’, a national programme designed to identify talent and coach them into performance pathways. This year he was selected for the 360 Youth, 12-15 years and L6-L7. Jack has represented the North Harbour at the New Zealand Gymnastic Nationals each year since 2016.
In 2020 Jack was selected to compete at the London Open in the United Kingdom in September. However this was put on hold due to Covid-19. Gymnastics New Zealand has also cancelled all national and international competitions this year.
Jack’s long term goal is to be selected for the Squad 360 Junior international Level and strive to compete at the Commonwealth and Olympic Games.
Jack also enjoys surfing, skating and fishing with his family.
Jack Denny receives the North Harbour Club Junior Excellence Award – sponsored by Precise Homes – and a cash grant of $3000.
North Harbour Club Sports Scholarship 2020 - Sponsored by Vantage Windows and Doors
Ryan Jefferson (15)
15 year old Rangitoto College student Ryan Jefferson is a trampolining champion. He has been the New Zealand champ for his age in 2017, 2018 and 2019. He was also fourth at the World Champs in Tokyo in late 2019. Ryan also won a Junior Excellence award in 2018.
Originally a gymnast, Ryan started competing in trampolining in late 2016 after wrist injuries curtailed his gymnastics. His goal back then was to qualify to represent New Zealand at the World Champs, a competition held every two years. He achieved that goal late last year in Tokyo, competing for New Zealand in synchronised trampoline, having won this event at the Australian National Championships in both 2018 and 2019.
“The experience of competing on the world stage was indescribable,” explained Ryan in his awards application. “Our result was the top result for the New Zealand Age Group team which was a great achievement, and an incredible feeling to know that my synchro partner and I are fourth in the world.”
Ryan’s goal in 2020 – with events being cancelled due to Covid-19 – has been to keep training hard and preparing for next year’s competitions including working towards qualifying for the World Champs next November in Baku, Azerbaijan. His long term goal is to compete at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.
Scholarship funds will be used toward the cost of getting to competitions – airfares, entry fees, accommodation, rental cars, uniforms, coaches and managers' costs.
Ryan is also involved in both beach and indoor volleyball and he coaches at North Shore Trampoline. The all-rounder also wins academic awards as well as excellence awards for physical education and multimedia technology. Ryan also won big at the North Shore Trampoline end of Year Awards in 2019 – Head Coach Award for Exemplary Training Trophy; International Competition Best Performance of the year Trophy; Synchro Champion Trophy.
Ryan Jefferson receives a North Harbour Club Sports Scholarship – sponsored by Vantage Windows North Shore – and a cash grant of $2000.
Brianna Orams (19)
Stand Up Paddling (SUP)
19-year-old university student and former Long Bay College Head Girl Brianna Oram’s sport is Stand Up Paddling – or SUP.
Brianna grew up on the ocean. After taking the SUP ICF 1st Junior World Technical title in Qingdao China 2019, Brianna decided to follow her dream to compete seriously in SUP. Since the age of 12 she has been a rider for Starboard NZ, and is now part of their ‘dream team’. Recently she has spent some time with the eco team at Starboard HQ (Bangkok), further developing her passion for sport and the environment.
Brianna is passionate about the sport, eager to push her limits, so she becomes the best athlete she can possibly be. She researches and creates her own training programmes and trains six days a week.
“SUP is a small sport that has no governing body as yet. I hope to try and develop the sport so younger generations have more of a structured and supported pathway where funding doesn’t limit their athletic abilities.”
Brianna is founder of the Blue Carbon Project, a not-for-profit organisation using outdoor pursuits (like SUP) as a platform to take climate action through the restoration of blue carbon environments (wetlands, mangroves, seagrass meadows).
“Blue Carbon Project is about restoring these environments and using sport to create a team of ocean ambassadors that can lead the way to a climate positive future,” adds Brianna.
Post lockdown Brianna ran her first ever SUP event ‘Blue Explore’. Over 50 people showed up to SUP and plant over 500 native dune grasses at the Long Bay Okura Marine Reserve. She has loads of ideas to expand these events in the future.
Recent Achievements: Starboard Ocean Ambassador & SUP Dream team rider; USC High-Performance Student-Athlete; USC Student Ambassador; ICF Worlds 1st junior female technical race, China 2019; ICF Worlds 2nd Junior female distance race, 2019; Top U19 SUP Female in all divisions since 2012; Victoria University Tangiwai Scholarship for academic excellence; Head Girl Long Bay College; 1st Open Female Pacific Paddle Games California; 1st Female 30km Poor Knights Crossing; Female Yachtswomen of the year Torbay Sailing club.
Brianna Orams receives a North Harbour Club Sports Scholarship – sponsored by Vantage Windows North Shore – and a cash grant of $2000.
Savannah Scheen (19)
Athlete: javelin & discus thrower
19 year old Savannah Scheen is a Javelin and discus thrower based at AUT Millennium, competing out of the North Harbour Bays Athletics Club. Athletics has been her passion from the tender age of six. Over the past five years, she has found a love for javelin and discus throwing.
“I wake up each day excited about working to better myself in order to see how far I am capable of throwing something,” explained Savannah in her award application. “A bit of a random thing to get amped about, but I love it.”
The former Hobsonville Point Secondary School pupil is ranked sixth in the world for U20 Discus, first in NZ for U20 Javelin, and second in NZ for U20 Discus. At the 2020 Athletics NZ Nationals, she finished with a gold in U20 javelin and a silver in the U20 discus. The past year and a half, she made an impressive 14-metre jump [in discus] and is working to do the same over the next couple of years with an eye on the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
Savannah, who is coached at AUT Millennium by Mike Schofield, has some firm goals. They include to keep improving technically and in distance, and to continue growing as an individual; to keep learning, developing skills, getting stronger, becoming well rounded, and doing everything she can do to give herself the best chance at one day having a 'blinking good crack' at the world record for discus.
Savannah views AUT Millennium as her ‘home away from home’, as over the past five years she has spent four or more hours there five days plus a week.
Her goal is to study a conjoint degree in Sport and Business, with a major in management.
Savannah Scheen receives a North Harbour Club Sports Scholarship – sponsored by Vantage Windows North Shore – and a cash grant of $2000.