Live Updates: 2019 Halberg Awards

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10:51pm - Thanks for joining us tonight. No doubt many of the revellers will continue their celebrations into the morning.

10:36pm - Now for the supreme award, contested by Tom Walsh (sportsman), Adam Hall (para athlete), Lisa Carrington (sportswoman) and the Black Ferns Sevens (team).

Three-time winner Rob Waddell will present this to Tom Walsh.

10:26pm - This is my favourite award, the one voted for by the people.

So many sporting moments to treasure, and it's presented by former Silver Ferns netball captain Adine Wilson and rugby legend Sir Michael Jones.

Finalists are Nico Porteous and Zoi Sadowski-Synnott (snowsports), David Liti (weightlifting), Kelly Brazier (rugby), Black Sticks women (hockey), Amelia Kerr (cricket), Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (rugby league), Auckland rugby, Black Caps (cricket) and Anna Leat (football). 

Football goalkeeper Anna Leat wins, after her heroics at the U17 Women's World Cup, especially in the penalty shootout against Japan, where she not only saved goals, but scored the winner from the spot.

Anna Leat celebrates her Sporting Moment award
Anna Leat celebrates her Sporting Moment award at the Halbergs. Photo credit: Photosport

10:18pm - Not many awards left now, just the Sporting Moment and supreme winner.

But every year, the Halbergs also commemorate athletes and officials that have passed away every year. It's a moving montage that this year includes All Blacks Gary Seear, Fergie McCormick and Ron Murdoch, swim coach Jan Cameron, athletes Dick Quax and Bill Baillie, and speedway racer Ronnie Moore.

10:10pm - Coach of the Year is next, presented by former swimmer Gary Hurring and Team NZ grinder/track cyclist Simon van Velthooven.

Finalists this year are Leon Birnie (football), Allan Bunting (rugby), Clark Laidlaw (rugby), Joe Schmidt (rugby) and Gordon Walker (canoe).

Gordon Walker won this award for the last two years and repeats that success. Only rowing's Richard Tonks has now won more Coach of the Year awards than Walker.

9:58pm - Now for Sportswoman of the Year, presented by former cyclist Alison Shanks and Sports Minister Grant Robertson.

Finalists this year are Lisa Carrington (canoe), Joelle King (squash), Jonelle Price (equestrian) and Zoi Sadowski-Synnott (snowboarding).

Canoeist Lisa Carrington
Canoeist Lisa Carrington is named Sportswoman of the Year. Photo credit: Photosport

Lisa Carrington has already won two of these previously and she adds a third. She is now unbeaten in K1 200 competition over seven years, retaining that title again in 2018.

9:51pm - Another sporting legend will now be admitted to the NZ Sports Hall of Fame. It's Beatrice Faumuina, former world discus champion.

She was New Zealand's first-ever world track and field champion, and she enjoyed a long career that also included Commonwealth Games gold.

Beatrice Faumuina celebrates
Beatrice Faumuina celebrates her entry to the NZ Sport Hall of Fame. Photo credit: Photosport

9:36pm - Sportsman of the Year is next. Shot putter Tom Walsh won this last year and is among the finalists again.

He is up against Nico Porteous (freeskiing), Scott Dixon (motorsport) and Scott McLaughlin (motorsport). The award is being presented by former Prime Minister Sir John Key and former marathon runner Alison Roe.

Tom Walsh takes this one out again, capping a year where he won a Commonwealth Games gold, a world indoor title and season-long Diamond League honours. His 22.67m throw also made him the sixth-equal best thrower in history.

Shot putter Tom Walsh and former PM Sir John Key
Shot putter Tom Walsh and former PM Sir John Key. Photo credit: Photosport


He's fronted up in his kilt again, always a good look - very dapper.

"It's not very often John Key gives you wrong directions," he quips. "He's trying to set me up for a photo first."

9:24pm - Now, the Team of the Year, presented by sailors Peter Burling & Blair Tuke. They've won this award in their own right, as well as with Team NZ last year.

This year's finalists are All Blacks Sevens (rugby), Black Ferns Sevens (rugby), NZ Football U17 Women, NZ women’s kayaking team and Black Sticks women (hockey).

Black Ferns Sevens win, after a year where they won Commonwealth Games gold, the World Cup and the world series.

Their success is greeted by a spirited and moving haka from the audience, perhaps not the last tonight.

Black Ferns Sevens celebrate
Black Ferns Sevens celebrate their Team of the Year award. Photo credit: Photosport

Winning this category means the NZ women will be eligible for the supreme award later in the evening.

9:16pm - Next is the Para Athlete of the Year. Finalists for this category are Adam Hall (skiing), Scott Martlew (canoe), Sophie Pascoe (swimming) and Corey Peters (skiing).

Adam Hall is the winner - he took gold at the Winter Paralympics and was also recognised with the prestigious sportsmanship award from that event - the only Kiwi to ever win it.

Adam Hall
Adam Hall with his Para Athlete of the Year award. Photo credit: Photosport

This is his first ever Halberg Awards ceremony - he's usually overseas competing at this time of year. Apparently, the Halberg Foundation sponsored his first snowboard, as he was breaking into alpine sport.

9pm - Now, the Sport NZ Leadership Award, which has previously been won by All Blacks coach Steve Hansen, former All Blacks captain Richie McCaw and former sailboarder Barbara Kendall.

Sport NZ chief executive Peter Miskimmin will present this and it goes to Dr Farah Palmer, the former Black Ferns captain and the first woman appointed to the NZ Rugby board.

"You had me at King Country," she tells the audience, after her suspenseful introduction.

"This is a huge honour and a huge surprise. Like the previous winner, I hope I can carry on giving back to sport for another 40 or so years."

8:50pm - Next up is the lifetime achievement award, presented by former rowing cox Andy Hay and former hockey international Kylie Clegg (formerly Foy).

This winner is selected by the Halberg Foundation trustees and this year, it goes to athletics stalwart Barry Hunt, a former sprinter who went on to an outstanding coaching, officialing and selecting career.

"I tried to accomplish what I could for athletics over 71 years," says the 87-year-old.

Shot putter Maddison-Lee Wesche
Shot putter Maddison-Lee Wesche with her Emerging Talent award. Photo credit: Photosport

8:43pm - First up is the Emerging Talent Award, presented by golfer Phil Tautarangi and rugby/league star Hone Hireme.

Finalists are Josh Armit (yachting), Lewis Clareburt (swimming), Amelia Kerr (cricket), Anna Leat (football) and Maddison-Lee Wesche (athletics).

Among previous winners are golfer Lydia Ko, pole vaulter Eliza McCartney and skier Nico Porteous, nominated for Sportsman of the Year this year.

The winner is shot putter Maddison-Lee Wesche.

"This is just the beginning," she tells the audience.

8:39pm - Opera performers Sol3 Mio are using in last year's Halberg Award winners, Team New Zealand, who claimed the prize for their America's Cup victory in Bermuda. That seems so long ago now.

8:28pm - The guests are still arriving at the venue and sampling the appetisers in anticipation of the awards ceremony beginning.

As well as the eight award categories - including the overall supreme winner - there are three special awards. NZ Sport will present its leadership award, while someone will be admitted to the NZ Sport Hall of Fame and another lucky recipient will be recognised for lifetime achievement.

Sit tight, the award presentations are about to get under way.

7:15pm - Check out some of the red-carpet action, as the Halberg Awards stars arrive at Spark Arena.

Weightlifter David Liti
Weightlifter David Liti at the Halberg Awards. Photo credit: Photosport
Canoeist Kayla Imrie
Canoeist Kayla Imrie. Photo credit: Photosport
All Blacks Sevens players Scott Curry, Tim Mikkelson, Sione Molia & Kurt Baker
All Blacks Sevens players Scott Curry, Tim Mikkelson, Sione Molia & Kurt Baker, Team of the year finalists. Photo credit: Photosport
Canoeist Lisa Carrington
Canoeist Lisa Carrington, Sportswoman of the Year finalist. Photo credit: Photosport
NZ U17 Football Ferns
NZ U17 Football Ferns, Team of the Year finalists. Photo credit: Photosport
America's Cup sailors Peter Burling & Blair Tuke
America's Cup sailors Peter Burling & Blair Tuke, reigning Halberg Award winners. Photo credit: Photosport
Shot putter Tom Walsh
Shot putter Tom Walsh, reigning Sportsman of the Year Photo credit: Photosport
Swimmer Sophie Pascoe
Swimmer Sophie Pascoe, Para Athlete of the Year finalist. Photo credit: Photosport
Skier Nico Porteous
Skier Nico Porteous, Sportsman of the Year finalist. Photo credit: Photosport


Kia ora, good evening and welcome to Newshub's live coverage of the 2019 Halberg Awards from Auckland's Spark Arena.

Many of New Zealand sport's biggest names - both past and present - have gethered to celebrate the performances of our athletes over the past 12 months, as well as paying respect to some legends for their lifetime achievements.

Awards are always a fickle thing and for those finalists here tonight, they're just the icing on the cake, after all the hard work they've put in to reach their goals.

There's always plenty of debate over who gets the trophies and most athletes understand that, but at the end of the night, there will still be those who feel their favourites have been snubbed.

There are really no losers tonight - if you've made it this far, you've done pretty well.

One of the highlights of any Halberg Awards ceremony is seeing our top sportsmen and women interacting with each other, one of the few times in the year they can compare notes on common ground.

If you're used to seeing them all sweaty and stressed out on the sporting field, it's also a chance to see them dressed up to the nines and relatively relaxed, so the red-carpet entry is also a highlight.

Join us at 7pm, as we build up towards tonight's ceremony.


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