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.

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