Young Ōtaki sculptor Daniel McGregor-Brimble wins Prime Minister’s Award
Prime Minister Daniel McGregor-Brimble’s Oranga Tamariki Award recipient with the William Wallace Award Te Iho Pumanawa – Whakamana Tangata and one of his sculptures. Photo / Rosalie Willis
Twenty years old and having already faced many adversities, Daniel McGregor-Brimble has taken a step forward in recent years by winning an Oranga Tamariki Award from the Prime Minister this week.
The awards celebrate the success of young people who have grown up or experienced the care and protection system and include an engraved tohu or trophy, a taonga made from pounamu, sponsor merchandise, and gift cards that can be used to purchase. new technologies and clothing. .
Daniel, from Ngati Raukawa, received the William Wallace Te Iho Pūmanawa – Whakamana Tangata Prize which recognizes a young person who has demonstrated an outstanding contribution to his whānau, his community, his church or his school, or who has acted as a a way that has inspired others through their language and culture to make a positive change in their own lives or in the lives of others.
“I’m still shocked,” Daniel said.
“When my social worker Rueben Batten told me that I had won the award, I was just speechless.
“I haven’t had anything like this before.”
Even though he proudly says he has met the Prime Minister before, winning the award is a new experience for Daniel.
Growing up in Whanganui, Daniel experienced many difficulties during the first years of his life.
A move to Wellington, who now lives in Ōtaki, gave Daniel a life-changing experience.
“We’ve been through bad things, and bad things happened to us when we were younger.
“I moved to Wellington, encouraged by one of my brothers, to change and do something with my life.
“Staying in Whanganui – nothing was going to change for me.
“When I moved here everything changed.
“I started a sculpture course at Te Wāngana o Raukawa in Ōtaki.”
After completing his first year this year, Daniel wants to complete the next two years and eventually become a master sculptor.
By uploading photos of some of his designs to Facebook, Daniel was able to share his designs with members of his family.
“When I finished all of my sculptures I uploaded them to Facebook and all of my cousins, aunts and uncles all commented saying they were really proud of me.
“My mother can tell that I have come a long way from where I was when I was in Whanganui.
“Now she’s proud of us for making the switch and moving here.”
Appointed by his social worker Rueben Batten who works with him as part of a transition assistance service contract via Oranga Tamariki, Rueben said: “Of all the young people I work with, he is the one who ‘is unmarked.
“He saw opportunities and wanted to take them not just uphill and wait for a handout.
“He really wanted to take it further, and I guess I was that connection so that I could see his potential.”
Having previously studied at Te Wānanga himself, Rueben was able to help put Daniel in touch with the right people there.
“Seeing him nine months ago when I started with him, where he is now was great.”
Daniel is looking forward to moving into a new home soon with his younger brother and dreams of traveling the country, visiting different marae and talking with sculptors in each location.
He is the only one of the young generation of his family to sculpt.
“That’s why my koro is so happy with me and proud of me, I’m doing something he’s proud of.
“Before the class I didn’t know how to sculpt, but the tutors showed me how to use the scissors and taught me all the models and everything.
“I still have two years of schooling left, and then I want to be a master sculptor like one of my uncles.”