Hinemoa Rakete with her Blue Light life skills prize at
Kokiri Training Centre yesterday. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.
A Dunedin teenager has come to the attention of the
Hinemoa Rakete (15) was awarded the top prize at a New
Zealand police leadership course held at the Burnham Army
military base in Christchurch, last week.
She was presented with the award for most improved student at
the end of the Blue Light life skills camp on Friday.
''I thought they were joking. It's my first big award,''
Hinemoa said yesterday. She attended the camp at the
suggestion of Dunedin police iwi-Pacific liaison Senior
Constable Toni Wall, following a family group conference.
''I want to give a big shout-out to my family and Toni. I
didn't want to do it at first but, once I did it, I only
wanted to do it more,'' Hinemoa said.
''I really loved it. I learnt a lot about self-discipline and
that there's a better way of doing things. We were up every
day at 7am, whereas I usually get up at 9am or 10am. I feel
fitter now and I want to keep that up. I've even been getting
to my course early.
''It also brought up my confidence to do stuff. Like jumping
off buildings. None of us wanted to do the abseiling at
first. But I knew that if I did it, the rest of the group
would do it. When we did do it, it was a real adrenaline
Hinemoa had been a standout for the award, Blue Light life
skills co-ordinator Valarie Tiatia-Seath said.
''Camp staff felt that she had significant and consistent
improvement in attitude, self-discipline, self-confidence,
participation and team work.''
Since attending the course, Hinemoa has a life goal firmly in
''I want to join the army now. I want to get to do all the
crazy things they do. I want to try all sorts of different
Blue Light was established to teach 14- to 17-year-olds about
life skills and leadership and to enhance community