Rugby returned to 2012 with the North Otago Heartland prizegiving following Friday's 1949 heritage match.
Fullback Billy Guyton picked up the prize for Maori Player of the Year and the Best Back of 2012. His performances earned him a place in the Heartland XV.
"I'm stoked. I worked hard this year and trained harder than before. It capped off a great year after being picked for the Heartland team. Hopefully there's more to come," he said.
Lemi Masoe picked up the Player of the Year award. Masoe also represented the Heartland XV and coach Barry Matthews said he fully earned the award.
"Lemi deserved it. His work on and off the field this year as a mentor for the boys and his work at training ... he's had a good year," he said.
Matthews also praised Guyton's efforts and said he was now ready for a step up to ITM Cup level.
"Billy had a great season. He's matured on and off the field. He's ready for a step up. We're trying to get him an ITM (Cup) contract at the moment," he said.
Captain Ralph Darling was also included in the Heartland squad and Matthews said his skipper has gone from strength to strength.
"It was Ralph's second year as captain. He's grown into it and he's done really well."
North Otago Heartland 2012 award recipients:
Junior Player of the Year 2012, Tim O'Malley.
Development Team 2012:
Most points, Tai Aholelei (20).
Most tries, Kameli Rakoko (3).
Best back, Kameli Rakoko.
Best forward, Dan Sinnamon.
Player of the Year, Dan Groundwater.
Maori Player of the Year, Billy Guyton.
H.L. Loper Memorial Trophy:
Volunteer of the Year, Allister Murdoch.
NORFU Heartland team:
Top try scorer, Jack Wolfreys and Chris Talanoa (3 each).
Top points scorer, Hamish Buick (41 - 7 conversions and 9 tries).
Best back, Billy Guyton.
Best forward, Jack Wolfreys.
Long service awards:
Duncan Kingan, Murray Pearson and Phillipa Masoe.
NZ Heartland representatives:
Ralph Darling, Lemi Masoe and Billy Guyton.
Summit Wool Spinners Trophy, Player of the Year, Lemi Masoe.