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Supreme winner of Matariki competition says her heartfelt poem was inspired by her mum, her guiding star

The Supreme Winner of the Waikato District Libraries 2019 Matariki competition says the inspiration for her poem came from her Mum, her guiding star. 

Grace Raynel, from Ngaruawahia, was presented with her award at a prize-giving, held on 24 July.  She says the competition was fun to do.
“I’m really happy that my work was appreciated. I worked on it and am pleased it paid off.”
This is the seventh year the Matariki competition has been held. 

In celebration of Matariki (Maaori New Year), people were asked to write a poem in either English or Te Reo, or create a picture about what Matariki means to them.

Matariki is the Maaori name for the cluster of stars also known as the Pleiades, which rises in late May or early June in the Eastern sky. For many, it heralds the start of a new year and is a time of sharing and festivity. It is often a time when people reflect on personal goals.

Grace was the winner of the poem in the 16+ category. She was also named overall supreme winner.
 “We received entries from residents all over the Waikato district including entries from local schools,” says Jess Steiner, Customer Delivery Officer and prize-giving MC

“The winning poems and artwork will be proudly displayed in all our libraries and Council offices.” 

Customer Delivery Manager Brian Cathro says the competition is a way to encourage our communities to engage with their local libraries and is part of Council’s vision to create liveable, thriving and connected communities. 

“It’s great to see so many people getting involved and celebrating poetry and art through this competition.”

List of winners and runner up place-getters
Age 5-9 years:
- Winner – Kellan Smith
- Runner up – Riley Jackson de Boer
Age 10-15 years: 
- Winner – Ocean Burke
- Runner up: Luna De La Cruz
Age 16+:
- Winner – Grace Raynel
- Runner up – Eden Wawatai
Matariki picture
Age 5-9 years:
- Winner: Remedy Upokomanu
- Runner up: Ruby Assen
Age 10-15 years: 
- Winner: Chloe Hopkins
- Runner up: Helena Marie Jenkins
Age 16+:
- Winner: Te Oranga Herangi
- Runner up – Bridget Flanagan


Each winner received a $60 gift voucher, while the runner up received a $30 gift voucher. The supreme award winner also received a $100 gift voucher.