Awards acknowledge young talent
An expert on ‘‘cryptocurrency’’ and a Pakistan refugee were to two of the more noteworthy finalists in the Hutt City Youth Awards.
Adiraj Gupta, whose father Alok Gupta stood for New Zealand First in Hutt South, won the entrepreneurship award.
The 21-year-old had been involved in numerous start-up companies and is an expert on internet currencies like bitcoin.
The award for overcoming adversity went to 16-year-old Ali Raza Ismatullah from Naenae.
Originally from Pakistan, Ali was the current New Zealand national 60kg boxing silver medallist.
The science and technology award went to Nisal Jayaneththi, who developed an app to help people report problems to their local council.
Organiser and Hutt South MP Chris Bishop, said the idea for the awards came to him three years ago when he was reading a newspaper.
‘‘It was just another negative story about young people that got me.’’
He encounters young people on a daily basis doing ‘‘amazing things’’ and thought there must be a way to recognise them.
After an approach to regional councillor Ken Laban, he set up the awards.
‘‘It is about backing young people and not focusing on the negative.’’
Mayor Ray Wallace said it a ‘‘very special’’ occasion to honour young people.
Hutt City Youth Awards winners: Contribution to Sport, Peter Mitchell; Embracing Diversity, Kody Keepa; Entrepreneurship, Adiraj Gupta; Leadership, Georgia Delany; Overcoming Adversity, Ali Raza Ismatullah; Science and Technology; Nisal Jayaneththi; Service to the Community, Helena Holtslag; Arts, Callum Bryan.
Mayor Ray Wallace and Hutt South MP Chris Bishop with the finalists at the Hutt City Youth Awards.