Local News

Youth mentor Geneva Hakaraina-Tino receives Attitude Supreme Award

The te reo student is using her voice for kids who are finding theirs.
Geneva Hakaraina-Tino

Geneva Hakaraina-Tino and her mother Glenda Tino after accepting the supreme award.

Sacha Stejko

A young Maori woman who communicates only using technology has been honoured at the 2017 Attitude Awards.

Geneva Hakaraina-Tino, who has cerebral palsy, received the Attitude ACC Supreme Award and Spirit of Attitude Award at a ceremony in Auckland on Thursday night.

Although non-verbal, Geneva is an intelligent and driven young woman with a lot to say. Living with cerebral palsy Geneva gets around in a wheelchair and uses a computerised device to communicate. Despite these challenges, Geneva has recently completed a Bachelor of Communication Studies and is studying te reo Maori.

Geneva is also a mentor at youth camps and with TalkLink, a charitable trust that supports people who use assisted communication devices . She acts as a voice for kids who are finding theirs, and reassuring parents that like her, their children can achieve whatever they set their mind to. Geneva is determined to make computerised communication devices more advanced and accessible for everyone and is on a crusade to get a Kiwi accent for the devices, and add te reo so she and others can converse with whanau and be more immersed in their culture.

Geneva Hakaraina-Tino on stage receiving her award.

“Geneva has constantly defied the expectations of what someone with her level of disability can achieve,” said awards judge Tanya Black. “Despite the barriers placed in her way she retains a charm and steely determination to make the world a better place, not just for herself but those coming behind her.”

Geneva accepted her award surrounded by her friends and whanau with her mother addressing the crowd on her behalf thanking them for the honour.

The awards recognised 25 individuals who were celebrated for their successes and contribution to the disability community.

“Every year we say it, and every year it is true – the calibre of entries for these awards continues to astound us,” said The Attitude Trust chairperson Dan Buckingham. “The Attitude Awards is a great way to recognise the un-sung heroes and role-models of our community. And collectively change people’s views of what is achievable when someone lives with a disability.”

The 2017 Attitude Awards will be screened this Sunday morning on TVNZ 1 from 8am to 9am.

Full list of winners

Attitude Youth Spirit Award

Eva McGauley

Attitude Making a Difference Award

Wendy Duff

Attitude Leadership Award

Hamish Taverner

The Spirit of Attitude Award

Geneva Hakaraia-Tino

Attitude Artistic Achievement Award

Steff Green

Attitude Entrepreneur Award

Robbie Francis

Attitude ACC Employer Award

Fairfax Media

Attitude Shining Light Award

Raylene Bates (para-athlete coach)

Attitude Epic Award

Evan Clulee

Attitude New Zealand Invictus Award

Paulette Doctor

Attitude ACC Supreme Award

Geneva Hakaraina-Tino

Related stories