Golfer giving back to NZ

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By Jaden McLeod

Phil Tataurangi is one of New Zealand's most respected golfers. He's won PGA Tour championships and played across the globe. But now he's set his sights on something different - inspiring the youth of today.

"Being able to contribute back to the New Zealand community after spending most of my career overseas is a highlight as well actually. You don't always get afforded that and I never really thought I'd get the privilege to pass on some of my experiences, and that they might be able to help some of the next generation."

Mr Tataurangi spoke to a group of students at Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology in Rotorua.

"More than anything, it was encouraging them to dream big. To be the best them that they can possibly be, that comes in a whole range of different sizes and shapes."

He then took part in a local Chamber of Commerce event at the Rotorua Golf Club. His aim - to raise money for the Hallberg Disability Sport Foundation.

Mr Tataurangi is a trustee for the foundation and says he is passionate about the cause.

"I think everyone deals with a bit of adversity in their lives. I think it's maybe not the adversity that defines you, but how you respond."

It's a lesson he learnt - when faced with early challenges in his personal life.

"Unfortunate at the time, to lose my Dad as a teenager. But have no two doubts about it, he's with me and has helped guide and shape me."

Mr Tataurangi says his support for the foundation and the talk at Toi Ohomai both tell the same story - that it is important to encourage the next generation to strive.

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