PMOTA 2023: Celebrating incredible rangatahi

Published: December 8, 2023

The Prime Minister’s Oranga Tamariki Awards acknowledge the talents, achievements and enormous potential of rangatahi. They are an investment in their future.

2023 PMOTA highlights

Highlights of 2023 Prime Minister’s Oranga Tamariki Awards (PMOTA)



Chappie Te Kani: This is truly, truly one of the best days of the year for ma as the Chief Executive of Oranga Tamariki. 

Karen Chhour: There is no limit. Anything is possible. 

Rehekōrero member: This poem is my name poem. [POEM] Being different is pain and you can’t be judged for staying the same. 

Rehekōrero Group: [POEM] As we stand here today, we are Māori. 

Peter Whitcombe: These are our nation’s future, in terms of young people, and it’s a real privilege to be part of their journey. I want these young people to remember today forever. 

On 28 November, 24 recipients travelled from around Aotearoa to Wellington to have their achievements acknowledged at the 2023 Prime Minister’s Oranga Tamariki Awards (PMOTA).

The PMOT awards acknowledge the talents, achievements and enormous potential of rangatahi and are an investment in their future. Recipients receive a $3000 scholarship or the opportunity to complete the Outward Bound experience, to nurture their future interests, talents and skills.

Minister for Children, Karen Chhour, had a powerful message for the recipients:

“There is no limit to where you can go, and what you can achieve. And never, let anyone tell you otherwise.”

Karen Chhour, Minister for Children

A special day for recipients

This year the awards were held at Te Wharewaka on Wellington’s waterfront. Recipients, nominators and a support people arrived and were welcomed with gift packs from sponsors L'Oréal, hairdressers and make-up artists to help them look and feel their best and, most importantly, plenty of kai.

Nominators and support people were given the opportunity to take a guided tour of Te Papa, while the recipients joined a workshop with Action Education. During the workshop, the participants explored what they value, what makes them strong and their ideal future-self and had an opportunity to share this with each other. Each participant walked away with their own spoken word poem.

At the award ceremony guests were treated to an upbeat performance from the NOVA hip-hop dance crew, a beautiful spoken word performance from Rehekōrero and an inspiring video from 2019 PMOTA recipient Jacob Gibbons.

Special thanks to our award sponsors

Scholarships for PMOTA are only possible due to the generosity of our sponsors Barnados, Bluestar, Kia Puāwai, Lifewise, L’Oreal, Spark, Outward Bound, Orbit Travel, Sysdoc, advocacy service VOYCE - Whakarongo Mai and funding from the William Wallace Trust.

​​​​​​​Being nominated can be a life changing experience for a young person. It reinforces how strongly others believe in them.

“These awards really matter. They’re memorable for life, and fundamentally tell our young people that we believe in them, that they are worth it, and that they can achieve whatever they put their minds to.”

Peter Whitcombe, Deputy Chief Executive, Oranga Tamariki and event sponsor