"It takes a team to make it work, this award is an acknowledgement of their efforts." Group leader Sharnay Cocup says.

Standing on the national stage at the New Zealand Youth Awards was a humbling experience for representing members of Taupiri Youth Group.


The group received a Youth Champion Award which was presented at Parliament on Tuesday. 


Group leader Sharnay Cocup said herself and member Khan Clement-Watkins had been recipients at the awards in the past.


But this is the first time the whole group had been recognised nationally.


"They were quite proud.. They were stoked to get a New Zealand award, they were really humbled, it's a taonga we can take back our to our community," Cocup said.


"It takes a team to make it work, I'm happy that this award is an acknowledgement of their efforts."


Taupiri Youth Group is known for its volunteering efforts including revamping the Taupiri Mountain walking track where they installed handrails, stairs and cleaned up a memorial site.


It is the second award they have won, with the first being a Waikato District Council youth award last year. 


To be able to represent their community was a proud moment, she said. 


"Knowing that Taupiri isn't just a community, it's sacred to Waikato-Tainui and carrying our tikanga with us, it made us stand proud."


Making the eight-hour trip down to Wellington were six of the members with the youngest being 11-years old.


While there were 40 members, those who attended were able to and hadn't been to Parliament before, she said. 


Leaders also accompanied them down.


They also received help with travel, accommodation and chaperones.


"We had only had six days to organise it, it was really hard and we were really under pressure and if it wasn't for my grandparents and a lovely family member from the Taupiri community it wouldn't have been possible."


This year around 190 nominations were received and 50 people and organisations received an award across eight categories.


The Youth Enterprise Award was a new category and recognised the demonstration of business acumen, innovation and social responsibility.


Cocup said one of the inspirational speakers was blind paralympian swimmer Mary Fisher. 

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