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Warrior chief and sportsmen inducted to Walk of Fame

Courtesy of Te Awamutu Courier

Walk of FameWarrior chief Rewi Maniapoto, World Champion ploughman Alan Wallace and champion cyclist and world champion coach Brendon Cameron are the latest inductees to the Te Awamutu Walk of Fame.

The announcement of the inductees culminated the successful Pride of Te Awamutu Awards held at the Te Awamutu Golf Club on Thursday night.

The annual event is a Te Awamutu Alive event, in conjunction with Waipa District Council, and aims to celebrate the successes and achievements of Te Awamutu people. Induction to the Walk of Fame is the highest honour.

Mr Wallace is regarded as one of New Zealand’s top ploughmen. He won the 1968, 1971, 1976 and 1980 New Zealand Ploughing Championship, the Silver Plough. He went on to compete at the World Ploughing Championships which he did with distinction, placing 15th in 1969, second in 1971, fifth in 1976 and his crowning achievement, World Champion in Ireland in 1981. Mr Wallace’s ploughing and management skills have been well utilised by New Zealand, as he was coach of the National team at five World Championships from 1988 to 2004.

Mr Cameron has forged an outstanding cycling record, winning numerous New Zealand junior and senior titles, representing New Zealand at two Commonwealth and two Olympic Games, and is now an elite coach of World and Olympic Champion Sarah Ulmer. He is one of the first successful cyclists from the new Te Awamutu Velodrome building in 1983, the youngster who came down to the Velodrome and timed cyclists with his watch, then return later on his non-competitive bike and try and beat these times when nobody was there.

Manga, later called Rewi Maniapoto, was born in Waikato early in the nineteenth century, the direct descendant and namesake of his founding tribal ancestor, Maniapoto. Rewi was educated according to his rank and Ngati Maniapoto custom and exemplified all the qualities expected of one raised to lead. He became known by Maori and Pakeha for his oratory, political debate and leadership, knowledge of traditional customs and practices, and military skills. His moko was that of a rangatira. The monument honouring Rewi was unveiled at Kihikihi in April 1894. Two months later Rewi died at Kihikihi. A great tangi was held, and on June 29 he was buried at the foot of his memorial.