Alexandra sheep shearer and woolhandler Pagan Karauria has won the Master Woolhandler award and will be presented with the award during the New Zealand Merino Shearing and woolhandling championship in Otago this week.
Karauria was selected as the recipient of the award following a unanimous vote at the annual meeting of Shearing Sports in August and will be following in the footsteps of her parents- master shearer father, Dion Morell, and master woolhandler mother, Tina Rimene.
In April, Karauria won the first Royal Easter Show woolhandling title in Auckland and is hoping to qualify for a spot in the New Zealand woolhandling team for the world championship in France next year.
As well as competing in the open woolhandling this week, she will be in the senior shearing, hoping to improve on the placing she received in last year’s final.
Karauria plans to hang up the shearing tools after this competition as she focuses on the woolhandling selection series.
She is one of several world-class New Zealand woolhandlers who has had to continue in the shadow of Joel Henare, whom she regards as a mentor despite the fact he's three years younger and who this year racked up a 100th career win.