For some it might be small shifts; for others, big audacious goals. But little or large, to BayBuzz the future is looking bright in many pockets of the Bay.

As Hawke’s Bay launches into the new year, BayBuzz has identified 20 people (for 2020) we plan to watch as they take on the year ahead: risk-takers, innovators, game-changers or just plain inspiring.

We see the wind shifting in the corridors of power and wonder if it’ll last. We see more women coming forward, including in our land-based leadership.

We anticipate our experiences of dining out becoming more informal, putting eating together at the heart of our community. And we are excited by our cultural diversity, with virtuosos of diverse talent contributing to our enjoyment of the arts.

We’re noticing healthy diversity in ‘business’ too, as social entrepreneurs marry smart enterprise with social and environmental good; some are growing our economy by bringing people in, others by exporting IP out.

And, we’re preparing for an outpouring of regional pride as the Bay’s best begin their search for Olympic Gold.

Welcome to our twist on trendspotting, taking a casual – but not uninformed – punt on what the future holds for Hawke’s Bay. We might or might not have the trends right, but we are confident about our selection of twenty outstanding people to watch. Which isn’t to say there aren’t many other worthies you might propose.

What do we have to shout about? Who’s leading the way? And, who’s on their way to taking the lead? Here are twenty notables we think will contribute importantly to Hawke’s Bay in the year ahead.

Power shift 2020 will see shifting political winds as representation becomes younger and more diverse. That move was seeded last year with shifts at a local level and it’ll be this year those shifts begin to make real change in the region.

Hinewai Ormsby


Hinewai Ormsby was the highest polling candidate for the Napier Constituency of Hawke’s Bay Regional Council in the recent local body elections, edging also-elected incumbent Neil Kirton by almost 300 votes.

Being new to local body politics makes that quite a remarkable feat. What makes it even more special is she is also HBRC’s first female, youth (the Local Government NZ cut-off defining “Youth” is 40) Māori councillor. Hinewai and her husband Cameron run Napier Māori Tours, which won the Culture and Heritage Award at the 2018 HB Tourism Awards.

Rather than catering to wine, or architecture lovers, Napier Māori Tours focuses on the more cultural, natural and spiritual aspects of the area.
“Our passion is to share our Māori values, our way of life, and the caring for our precious environment.” Their website says. “Our native Māori language, cultural traditions, and customs, ground us so that we are the kaitiaki (guardians) of our land and water.” Hinewai’s goal for 2020: “To empower and enable social responsibility about how we can make a positive difference for our environment. It’s also about where our Hawke’s Bay communities can take action, and we see a regeneration movement from the ground up.”

Shayne Walker


Possibly no one on our list will be more watched in the coming year than Shayne Walker, recently appointed as chairman of the HB District Health Board, replacing veteran Kevin Atkinson.

Shayne’s career began in 2004 as a parole officer for the Department of Corrections. In 2012 he began a three-year stint as Māori Health Manager for the HBDHB … his only professional experience in the health arena. He then became general manager of Maungaharuru-Tangitu Trust, one of nine Waitangi Treaty Settlement groups in Hawke’s Bay managing redress from the Crown for their respective hapu. Since January 2019, Shayne has been head of Māori business for BNZ.

Sprinkled across these positions, Shayne has held numerous Māori leadership roles. Last year he campaigned unsuccessfully against Ngahiwi Tomoana for the iwi-elected position of chairman of Ngati Kahungunu Iwi Inc, our region’s dominant iwi group.

Without question, the health profile of Māori in Hawke’s Bay (and nationally) is abysmal. From that perspective, it is not surprising that the government might select appoint a Māori chair of our DHB. But while the $500m-plus DHB is on the front line in addressing these vexing health challenges, it is clear that with Māori the problem is rooted in poverty, unhealthy housing and lack of education … DHB labours on the social casualties.

So, with much to improve under the glaring spotlight, and big shoes to fill, Shayne Walker might also find himself on a ‘hiding to nothing’. 

Peleti Oli


First-term Hastings Councillor, Samoan-born, Flaxmere-raised, runs a barbershop in Hastings. 

There’s a big year ahead for Oli, not just as a councillor but with a range of other initiatives. He and wife Jonique are introducing a course on barbering into Mangaroa Prison. “That’s a personal goal,” he says, rather than a political one.

In the run up to the 2019 election Oli called together influential people in Flaxmere to ask where his priorities should lie. What came up was the need for a youth hub, and ways to expose people to help that’s available for social issues and needs, especially new New Zealanders. “Education for parents is important, even just help speaking English.” 

His primary concern is mental health. “It’s close to my heart.” He talks openly about his brother Someh’s suicide in 2012 and the changes he made to his life following that.

“I know Council is about making decisions, but I have a deeper purpose … We’re losing loved ones left, right and centre.”

In 2019 Oli got involved with Men’s Medicine and, although he predicts 2020 will be too busy for him to be hands-on in the programme, he’s a massive champion of it.

Access to housing is also a major goal for Oli in 2020, both politically and personally. He says it’s a significant and multi-faceted issue, and more than just academic for him and his family. “We know what it’s like, we’re renting, it’s hard. We’re in the middle of it, we’re experiencing it.”

Doing good while doing business 2020 will see social entrepreneurship building in the Bay as companies put care for the environment and social welfare front and centre, meeting multiple bottom-lines.

Drew Bibby


His family’s business, Thornhill Horticultural Contracting, provides seasonal employees to HB growers. So Drew Bibby would probably not call himself a ‘social entrepreneur’, but that’s what he is … meeting an economic need and a social need at the same time.

In late 2018 the Bibby family bought the Angus Inn in Hastings, and transformed it into a residence for both overseas seasonal workers and for those in special need of transitional accommodation – usually work-motivated men just-released from Mangaroa Prison.

With further expansions now underway, the facility will be able to accommodate nearly 500 residents, offering lodging, meals and even pastoral care (watching over their health, money managing, family issues).

For those referred by MSD and the Prison, the key factor is willingness to work. Over their stay (2-3 months), these individuals – about two dozen so far – are trained by Thornhill for long-term employment in the hort sector, earning income as they train. From that income they pay a modest fee for the lodging, food and other services they receive.

For former prisoners, the stay is critical to getting back on their feet, often, as Drew put it, “breaking the cycle” that might otherwise lead them right back to the counterproductive living environments (drugs, alcohol, violence) that led them to prison. The facility is 100% drug/alcohol-free.

The project is financially self-sustaining and “still an experiment”, but the real reward, says Drew, are the times when residents tell him, “I’d be back in prison if it wasn’t for this place” and “You’ve changed my life”.

Emma Horgan


The powerhouse behind Waingākau Village is Emma Horgan. The project, with 120 future homes for 300 Flaxmere residents, offers innovative pathways to home ownership – supported rent, rent to buy, supported ownership, full ownership and co-operative ownership.

This year project manager Horgan will see 52 houses being built in partnership with Taiwhenua o Heretaunga, a similar co-housing village plotted with another iwi partner, and a new ‘agri-hood’ project initiated – a term used to describe a new way of developing housing projects in tune, aligned and integrated to sources of food.

“We need to start living near our food supplies, not just taking from the land without considering impacts,” Horgan explains. She takes a biodiversity approach to her project management, interweaving te ao Māori and tikanga.

Horgan has an impressive corporate resume, but her current and future leaning is very much radical environmental and social response. “We’ve got to change the way we live and work, regenerate communities, business models and the environment.”

“I’m scared for the future and if we don’t get ready for change we’re in trouble,” she says. “But climate change is an opportunity to also change the way we do things.”

As well as running projects in Hawke’s Bay with her own small team, Horgan is training practitioners around New Zealand. She’s driven by a desire to create empowerment, hope and tools for professionals and individuals to use practically. “The system is broken and we need to fix it.”

Chris Lambourne


Chris Lambourne is appalled so many people are “energy poor”, spending more than 10% of their income on power, snuggling into sleeping bags or rugging up to save power in the winter.

He’s project managing a plan to create a solar farm that will deliver low cost power to 1,500 people in 400 low-income households in Flaxmere and Camberley through the Power to the People Trust of St Andrews Presbyterian Church. 

He says an additional electricity payment to beneficiaries in the winter doesn’t really address the issue for those in rental homes.

Lambourne, who worked for the Ministry of Justice, helped TVNZ manage its digital transition and has a background in strategic planning in the electrical industry, says the project is about addressing poverty and social justice by making people’s homes warmer.

There’s strong support from HDC which has land use designated for renewable energy, alongside funding from various parties, including a $500,000 loan “in principal” from HBRC. 

An initial site at Roy’s Hill fell through but Lambourne has another and a back-up site in mind for the ‘farm’ that will deliver to the homes through Unison’s network. “While there are government and regional policies that support this, it’s really about finding a method of actually doing it”. 

He’s hopeful the Trust will have secured the land and funds for the $2.7million solar farm of up to 4,000 panels by the third quarter in 2020.

Recentering the cultural scene 2020 will witness a shift in cultural centre in the region with the reopening of the Hawke’s Bay Opera House, but also a broadening of the creative sector that includes exporting talent grown here to other parts of the country and the world. 

Miru Shimaoka 


Miru Shimaoka, dux at Taikura Steiner School, is one of hundreds of youth leaving the Bay this year, taking their talent with them, hopefully to polish up natural skill with life experience and bring it back to make our region richer. He is heading to the School of Music at Victoria University for a degree in Classical Performance. 

Born in Japan, Miru came here as a four-year-old for a life his parents knew would be quieter and more relaxed. That desire has meant their son’s talents have needed to be strongly self-motivated. 

“The struggle with being from a small place is you’re not pushed,” says Shimaoka. “Growing up here, it’s hard to find teachers and people to play with, or workshops to be part of, competition.” The upside, he says, is self-reliance, “I’ve managed to get there without that environment, so my inner strength is built up.” 

Hawke’s Bay has fed Shimaoka in unexpected ways, “One of the best experiences was busking, people stopping and smiling … It’s made me want to be a performer, make people happy, bring joy, entertain, inspire.” 

An accomplished violinist, Shimaoka is also a pianist, actor, writer with published short stories and poems, and polyglot. Alongside Japanese and English, he’s also picked up German and Spanish. 

“I love languages, the more you speak the more you can learn. If you speak a language, you think in that language and it’s a window into the mentality of that culture.” 

Megan Peacock-Coyle 


Toitoi Hawke’s Bay Arts and Events Centre opens on Saturday, February 29th. 

Manager Megan Peacock-Coyle says the opening festivities themselves – including a dawn ceremony, Homecoming concert, street party and an open day on March 1 – will represent Toitoi’s mission of “Honouring the past, nurturing the present and inspiring the future.” 

“We’re going to tell the story of Heretaunga, using and involving local community talent, and showcasing what we can do in the space.” 

Toitoi is a next-generation venue, Megan says. It’s a traditional space (i.e. a theatre) being used in a modern way, in this case with a multi-cultural approach and a focus on participation in the arts. She and her team are looking forward, planning and contracting the programme of events for 2020 and beyond. 

Megan is by nature collaborative and inquisitive, and says she’s looking forward to scouting out exciting shows from overseas and bold New Zealand work, and combining that with diverse local talent. 

“It’s really important to us that people understand that Toitoi is a place for them,” she says “And the way we can do that is with the programme. So we’re making sure tangata whenua will be in there performing, and that multi-cultural organisations have an opportunity to come into that space, and a lot of that is about understanding the different ways cultures operate.” 

Charlie Wallace 


Leaving school at 15, Charlie Wallace found himself back there the very next year, but on the other side, teaching his former fellow students to play the guitar. 

“I taught myself to play mainly from random & scrambled information I found online,” he says, but in doing so he realised there must be an easier, more structured way to help others. 

So, before Xero or other NZ tech companies had recognised Hawke’s Bay as a great location to base their online operations, Charlie started teaching guitar online to people all over the world in 2014. 

Originally a one-man-teaching-band, filming in the bedroom of his Napier home and putting in long hours to serve clients all over the globe, www.GuitarMasteryMethod. com now has 14 staff around the world, and a more automated system allowing them to reach over 389,000 registered students and 51,000 subscribers on YouTube. 

For 2020 Wallace is looking to develop Guitar Mastery Method even further. “In the last 12 months we made $5.2m in revenue. In 2020 we want to double that.” 

His band, Black Smoke Trigger, has also just recorded the album “Set it Off” with legendary rock producer Michael Wagener, which is currently at #12 in the US Hard Rock Charts. 

Fame and further fortune await!

Eating at the heart of the community 2020 will see a move towards a more relaxed flavour of dining. Community-centric and family-friendly offerings with wholesome soulfood will attract diners to make eating out a regular occurrence rather than just for special occasions. 

Gretta Carney 


Hastings Street in Napier has become a hub of terrific organic food, thanks in large part to Gretta Carney and her team at Hapi. It makes sense therefore, that when the café space at Chantal became vacant, it would get its own Hapi treatment.

There was a suitably winding and organic journey through the second half of 2019 to get the large space – now known as Hapori (meaning ‘community’) – to where it is now, an espresso bar and community kitchen. 

The ideas for using the space are still bubbling away and uses will be added during 2020. So far there’s a community gallery space, a market area in the courtyard, textile artist Nicki Gabriel is working on a macramé installation which will form a semi-enclosed meeting space, cooking groups are using the commercial kitchen after hours, and there are regular lunches prepared by foodies and cooks from a range of cultural backgrounds. 

“There’s a yearning that people have to prepare food from their traditions, and share it,” Gretta says. 

A qualified classical homeopath, Gretta is always looking at things in a holistic manner, so Hapori also has a focus on social enterprise. 

“This is a space where people can start to develop and explore their audiences, which may lead on to them having their own food cart, or their own space. They can test to see if they might have a business.”

Laura Crespi & Daniel Pistone 


Sazio is the new kid of the cool 200 block in Hastings. 80% Pasta, 100% Pizzazz it embodies the new wave of relaxed, communal, authentic food offering. 

“The vibes we try to create and the environment is casual,” explains Crespi. “We want to cater to the people, they’ll make it a regular thing!” 

With business partner Daniel Pistone, Crespi is bringing together a concoction of her Italian heritage, his Argentinian flair, and their new home’s comfortable honesty and innovative tendencies. 

“Our two cultures are about being together,” says Crespi. “We are going to pay respect to our traditions, but with a twist.” 

The basis of the menu is honest to goodness pasta, with a simple menu of standards and an ever-changing one of specials. 

“Our people cook what they have and that’s what we want to do here … that’s the start of the story: Cook what you have,” says Pistone. 

Crespi tells of her earliest experiences with pasta – cooking with 25 cousins! “Every Sunday morning, wake up and make pasta with my Grandmother … that’s the roots, we’ve put our history into the mix … it’s an old style in a new way.” 

Crespi sees their approach to food culture as more approachable, more understandable and more accessible than some of the fine-dining trends seen recently. “It’s not chemistry, it’s food,” agrees Pistone.

Riding the boom 2020 will see business diversity reign as the Bay continues to enrich its economy by creating a business ‘ecosystem’ that supports professionals coming to live and work here and online businesses, alongside tourism and grassroots ‘refilleries’. 

Hamish Saxton


Hamish arrived on the HB scene, “feet under the desk”, this past September, having recently served as chief executive of Tourism Dunedin. With over 30 years in the tourism biz, he can credibly say, “Tourism is in my blood … It’s the industry I’m really passionate about.” 

It’s a load to carry in HB, where tourism is credited with generating about 10% of the regional economy. Hamish says the full value of our visitor economy is still not really understood – “not just the obvious beneficiaries, but also the fuel pump and supermarkets.” Building that understanding is a key goal for 2020, which he hopes will translate into broader financial support for HB Tourism from such businesses, catering to both tourists and visitors. 

Hamish wants to do a better job of sharing HBT’s plans with its various stakeholders – “an ‘open door policy’, we will listen … are we doing what needs to be done?” 

“I’m a great believer in partnerships,” he says. Hamish wants to create initiatives that will attract more co-investment from industry players in collaborative marketing efforts, for example, leveraging HBT’s website and online audience and reaching key markets. 

If one word were to describe Hamish’s focus, it’s relationships. 

Tom Wallace 


After uni, Tom Wallace went searching. He knew he wanted to launch a tech business of some kind … “something you could build in Hawke’s Bay and sell around the world”. 

Not surprisingly, his search landed close to home, building upon insights gleaned from his dad’s property development business. He saw an unmet need for an integrated software package, cloud-based, highly-automated that would help those managing commercial and residential properties with all aspects of their business – from scheduling maintenance to collecting rents. 

In 2013 his software service – Re-Leased – was launched, based in Ahuriri. Today, Re-Leased employs about 30 in HB (aiming toward 50 by year’s end), with offices in London, New York, Melbourne and Auckland, servicing 800+ customers worldwide, generating nearly 80% of its revenue overseas. Tom says Hawke’s Bay will always be “our long-term technical centre to support our growth”, earmarking $10m to double the firm’s size here. 

The NZ average salary for software developers is $95k. The associated jobs at Re-Leased involve sales, marketing and design … none of these folks, mostly under-age 40 (Tom’s 31), are earning peanuts. The company will grow “as long as we can hire great people”, says Tom. Many of them need to be imported to HB, although an IT internship in association with EIT aims for one recruit each six months. 

Re-leased is impressive, but Tom’s broader vision is even more so. His ultimate goal is to build a “business ecosystem” that attracts and nurtures a diversified tech and professional community and sector in Hawke’s Bay … one far less vulnerable to the weather. 

Nicola & Adam Mossman 


In the ground floor of Hastings’ shiny new development Tribune, Nicola and Adam Mossman have taken their online business into the real world with a flagship store. Next for the natural, plant-based skincare company is a new shop in Napier, coupling the contemporary, minimalist Real World brand with Art Deco flair. 

Real World has been online for 3 years; their Hastings shop opened in September 2019. It came from a “need to be visible,” explains Nicola, and a desire to hear from customers. 

“It means in the future we can make products people are asking for, and respond directly to their needs.” 

The Mossmans are proud to be part of the changing face of Hastings. They’ve used local craftsmen and suppliers to fit out their shop and ‘refillery’. 

“We use people within a stone’s throw from us because we trust them, we do business with them often and we share a customer base so we understand each other.” 

The Mossmans have a number of threads to their business, including supplying 50 shops around NZ, having a strong online following, a healthy book of commercial clients and, from May, two shops. “Hastings is a destination shop, next is getting into the tourism crowd in Napier.” 

In 2020, they will add more product lines that are uniquely HB. “100% of our range is made by us, we locally source ingredients, now we want to work with ingredients that HB is known for.” 

Tackling rural norms 2020 will see more women taking charge in the rural sector. Rather than just taking on traditional roles, women are leading the way in land-based business including agriculture, horticulture and viticulture. There’s a long way to go but the outlook looks bright.

Kahlia Fryer


Kahlia grew up and lives on her family’s Ashley Clinton dairy farm and, as she put it, is “never far from animals”. 

When BayBuzz reached Kahlia on a Friday afternoon she had just finished the paperwork on selling some rams and was about to go wakeboarding. Her energy flooded the conversation.

She recently won a nationwide Young Farmers Excellence Award and just returned from extensive overseas travel, which gave her a chance to “just take a break” and think about her future. She had been “go, go, go” and is “trying to get better on the non-work side”.

In the coming year she’ll be working at the Showgrounds helping plan next May’s Hort Field Day, and then the A&P Show.

But Kahlia’s already thinking beyond that. She earned an AgComm degree from Lincoln (2016), debt-free from casual work and scholarships, and the two related themes when she talks about her future are business and governance. 

For a 25-year-old, she has strong governance experience, having been student association president at Lincoln and presently serving on the Board of HB Netball.

As for business, Kahlia is germinating an idea around providing business admin services to farmers. “The farmers I’ve worked with are all willing to change, and want to do better,” she says. Her notion is that farmers’ time is best spent on the real work of farming, and her aim would be to relieve them of the admin burden they carry. 

AgFirst, hire her or be swallowed!

Julianne Brogden


2010 marked the beginning of Julz Brogden’s second wine-making career, crafting wines here in Hawke’s Bay that win the highest accolades from both her local peers and connoisseurs like Bob Campbell (“profoundly impressed”), Robert Parker and Michael Cooper.

Her first career, begun 22 years ago, was spent in California’s Napa Valley where, she says, the environment is “highly competitive and passionate” with top-end winemakers “striving for perfection for years”. She credits her experience working there with family-scale, premium-focused winemakers as giving her the skills to now produce top-flight wine on her own.

However, the intensity of that environment led to physical and mental exhaustion, and she returned home to Hawke’s Bay, repaired herself, and emerged with a new mantra …


Julz is aware of her limits, so while her commitment to quality is unmistakable, her business will “grow at its own pace”. 

In the coming year, working with fruit she rates as good as Napa’s, she will turn 15 tonnes of grapes (“from awesome growers”) into premium wine under her own Collaboration brand – some exported to France, Japan and Singapore – and a similar amount for other labels.

Collaboration is presently co-located with well-known winemaker Kate Radburnd, but Julz’ goal is to “find a permanent home for my wines and paintings” (a reference to the commissioned art that inspires her distinctive labels).

“The beauty of it all, I’m not putting myself under pressure … it has to happen naturally, organically.” Balance.

Lucan Battison 


It’s mid-morning on a Wednesday and there is a sound coming from the road at the top of Napier’s Botanical Gardens that hasn’t been heard for around 20 years … the clink of glass milk bottles. 

Lucan Battison, who runs the Barefoot Bottles Milk Truck is doing his weekly visit on Napier Terrace, one of over a dozen stops he makes around Napier each week. 

A small group of nearby residents cluster around his converted ambulance, chatting and waiting to get their glass milk bottles refilled. 

Lucan has been doing these suburban stops, as well as the Saturday Urban Farmers’ Market in Clive Square for almost a year now and recently branched out into doing home deliveries each Friday to around 80 customers. 

Lucan’s truck is fitted out with rows of fridges filled with 20 litre containers of milk from Havelock North dairy company Origin Earth. Lucan says he regularly sells out of ten of these containers every day. That means, with this refill service, he is removing up to 100 x 2 litre plastic milk bottles from circulation in Napier each day! 

“My main goal for 2020 is to push the doorstep deliveries and get as many Hawke’s Bay homes on my list as possible … essentially minimising the region’s plastic circulation,” says Lucan. 

Going for gold 2020 is an Olympic year and the region will get behind our sports stars as they take their talents offshore in search of gold, while others are just starting their athletic journeys. 

Aimee Fisher 


As a kid Aimee Fisher was very ambitious. “I always had these crazy, big dreams of being the next Irene Van Dyke or Michael Phelps, which was not that successful … turns out I’m better at sitting down sports. 

We spent a lot of time paddling around Lake Tūtira with fishing lines off the back of the boat when I was young. I would paddle for 5 minutes and then let Dad tow me around, so I started kayaking at a really young age. 

Since then she has amassed an impressive resume: HB Secondary Schools Sports Academy, double HB Sportsperson of the year (2016 and 2018), multiple World Kayaking titles, Olympian. 

In 2020, the Tokyo Olympics are Aimee’s focus: “My aim is to be selected into the K4 (4-person) again and I would like to push for a K1 (solo) spot too which is decided in February. 

I think about the Olympics a lot. It’s the moment I’ve been dreaming of since I was a kid. It’s been on my radar for so long that it’s hard to imagine life after the games, let alone the day after racing. 

I would love to go there and genuinely race to my full potential, to express all the hard work over the last decade. If that means a great result then awesome, if not the sun will still rise.” 

Regan Gough 


Born in Waipukurau, but living in Cambridge for the last 3-4 years to be close to training facilities and the team base, Regan Gough has spent a large part of his life on two wheels. 

Regan started out doing Central Hawke’s Bay’s ‘Tour De Beautiful’ and the larger, Hawke’s Bay regional ‘Tour De Bay’ from a very young age – either on the back of his mum’s bike, or on a tandem with his dad, once he was old enough to compete himself. The wheels have barely stopped turning since. 

With a supportive local community and groups such as Ramblers he started making a name for himself, receiving the ‘Emerging Talent Award’ at the 2014 Halberg Awards and then as part of the New Zealand Team Pursuit squad who came 4th at the 2016 Rio Olympics. 

2020 sees Tokyo hosting the Olympic Games. The nature of cycling, with fitness and injury being big factors, means the team won’t be announced until March/ April, but Gough is obviously hoping to be part of the squad again, this time with more metallic results. 

“2020 is purely focussed around Tokyo. To be there and on the podium is a massive motivator. Everything between now and then is a stepping stone for the big dance in August.” 

Kaitlin Cotter 


While most students will be spending this time of year relaxing and unwinding, for Kaitlin Cotter it is quite the opposite. 

The 17-year-old Napier Girls’ High graduate was named in the 2020 Black Sticks Women squad in November and has only just come back from playing in Australia for the NZ Under 21 team. 

The Black Sticks Women begin their international season on Saturday 1st of February when they play Belgium in Auckland, and then there is the small matter of the Tokyo Olympics in July. 

That is in addition to Kaitlin winning the Hawke’s Bay Schools’ Sportsperson of the Year Award, along with the Female Sportsperson Award, the Female Hockey Player Award and the Jarod Cunningham Youth Sports Scholarship in October. 

“It’s pretty cool that I’ve been selected for the Black Sticks and getting my first international cap is something to look forward to. It will be a hard year with full-time training as well as study, but I’m looking forward to playing with and learning from those who have been in the squad for some time. A goal would be to make the team for the Olympics, but that will be tough with the squad available.” 

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