Silver Fern Farms Kaipara Sports Awards


At Sport Northland we have been reviewing our position on the organisation of sports awards since the disruption caused by Covid-19 last year.

One of the first casualties of Covid-19 for Sport Northland was the 2019 Conbrio Northland Sports Awards. These awards were scheduled to be held in March 2020 but as we were in lockdown at that time, they were held, very successfully, in a virtual format.

The lack of competitive sport throughout 2020 then led Sport Northland to re-consider holding our district awards (Far North and Kaipara) in November 2020 and the 2020 Conbrio Northland Sports Awards in March this year, and as such all were canceled for the following reasons:

  • Although summer codes had largely completed their competition by the time COVID-19 was upon us, winter codes had to reduce their competition season in the qualifying period, and therefore it seemed unfair to hold the awards almost exclusively for summer codes
  • Some RSOs and clubs had struggled to pull teams together, let alone thinking of hosting their own prizegiving, and therefore would have struggled with putting any nominations forward
  • Even if there were enough nominations, it would have been too hard to judge between achievement with there being very little national / international competitions in the qualifying period

Added to this is the fact that our awards have become more expensive and difficult to run, especially over the last five years. As such we have had to take the following into account as well:

  • Costs to put on the awards have increased resulting in increased ticket prices 
  • Staff resourcing to run awards has increased 
  • Getting sports (clubs and RSOs) to nominate people for awards has become harder and a significant amount of time is spent chasing nominations and seeking clarification on nomination information due to poor quality nominations 
  • Finding appropriate venues to host the awards has become more difficult 
  • The awards in their current format do not align well with the Balance is Better philosophies where awards only recognise the top few that achieve in sport (7-16% that make it to the performance/elite stage vs. the 84-93% that don’t in sport) 
  • Many sports/RSOs hold their own awards functions recognising their people and many end up having to attend several awards functions (e.g. RSO, District, Northland etc) which can be a significant financial cost

The format for the awards hasn’t changed much since 1987 when the Northland Sports Awards first began, yet Sport Northland’s focus and purpose has.  Our focus also includes play and active recreation in addition to sport and the vast majority of our work is about community participation and development. We believe that the sports awards (as they have previously operated) do not directly align with our vision for All Northlanders leading better lives through involvement in play, active recreation and sport. 

Long story short, we recognise it is time for a change. 

This has subsequently led us to review all the sports awards that we run and our thinking has evolved to a place where we are wanting to keep the best of what we had previously while decreasing the staff time spent on organising the actual sports awards functions. As such, the Sport Northland board has approved the following for 2022:


  • The next Conbrio Northland Sports Awards will only recognise the following award categories: Supreme, Sportswoman and Sportsman, Team, Junior Sportsperson, Service to Sport and Legend of Northland Sport. There will be no Code Awards as in the past. 
  • Awards will be hosted online only (as per the awards run in March 2020). Nominees and winners will be released on our Sport Northland Facebook page, website and sent to media. 
  • Award winners will still receive trophies with an opportunity to present them in their own settings if possible e.g. at a RSO function, club night etc. 
  • We will continue to have a Community Impact Award and open up the criteria for play, active recreation and sport initiatives. There will be no one winner for this, however we intend to recognise the good initiatives that get put forward that meet the criteria. 


  • There will be no district sports awards in the Far North and Kaipara as they were. Instead, they will be replaced with the Community Play, Active Recreation and Sport Volunteer Awards
  • An award nomination opportunity will be made available twice a year – April and October and will be open to all of Northland (no longer just FNDC and KDC boundaries)
  • A criteria will be established however it will be similar to the current volunteer categories for district awards e.g. Service (20 yrs+), Contribution (less than 20 yrs, but more than 5 yrs), Newcomer (less than 5 yrs)
  • Recognition options will occur in the most appropriate form e.g. online profiles (Facebook, SN website etc), media releases, certificate or trophy which could be presented in the most appropriate setting (if possible) e.g. At a club night, at a school etc. Or there may be an opportunity to hold a low-key community function to support and recognise these volunteers e.g. a breakfast


  • The Northland Secondary School Sports Awards function will no longer go ahead as the Northland Secondary School Sports Council has already decided to discontinue this function.   Students are recognised in their own school settings.  
  • The future of the Te Taitokerau Māori Sports Awards is to be discussed with Iwi. 

In summary, this means instead of the previous district sports awards, we will pilot a new way to acknowledge the backbone of our play, active recreation and sport system volunteers for all of Tai Tokerau, while at a regional level we will keep our top awards and expand the Community Impact Award to include play and active recreation. Both of these will be in an on-line format.

All of this will be reviewed following the delivery of the awards in 2022.

We realise there may be some disappointment in the awards not continuing as they have, however we will continue to review the awards to ensure that any new changes continue to recognise the life blood of sport – our volunteers, and the other sectors of play and active recreation who all contribute significantly to “All Northlanders leading better lives through involvement in play, active recreation and sport”.   


2020 - No Awards due to Covid-19

2019 Winners ... click here

2018 Winners ... click here
2017 Winners ... click here
2016 Winners ... click here
​​​​​​​2015 Winners ... click here