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About one thousand voluntary groups from around New Zealand enter the Trustpower Community Awards each year. It’s a celebration of just how much volunteers mean to our country. No matter how big or small, if your group, club or society has volunteers, it has earned the right to be involved.

Trustpower Community Awards

The regional Community Awards started in 1994, and are held in partnership with local district and city councils. There are now 24 regional Community Awards, covering 26 regions. There are five categories: 

  • Heritage and Environment. 
  • Health and Wellbeing. 
  • Arts and Culture. 
  • Sport and Leisure. 
  • Education and Child/Youth Development.

Entries are judged by a panel made up of representatives from Trustpower, the local council and community. Each region holds a formal function to present the Awards. Every group that is entered is invited to have one or more representatives at this function.

The five category winners each receive $500* and a framed certificate. The runners-up receive $250 prize money. The Supreme Winner receives $1500* prize money, a trophy and framed certificate, and an all-expenses paid trip for two representatives, to the Trustpower National Community Awards.

Trustpower Youth Community Spirit Award

The Youth Community Spirit Award is held alongside each of the regional Community Awards. This popular Award is open to all year 13 students, to recognise and reward service to his or her school, and community. Starting in 2009 the winner and finalists in each region receive a framed certificate and the winner $500 prize money, with another $250 going to a community group of the winner’s choice.

Trustpower National Community Awards

The National Community Awards were first held in 2000. All regional Supreme Winners get to contest the title of National Supreme Winner. But far more than that, the National Awards are an opportunity for everyone to share ideas, experiences, contacts, and inspiration.

The National Community Awards are held over three days, set in a provincial area, alternating each year between the North and South Islands. Each of the regional Supreme Winners are invited to send two representatives. Their region's Mayor and a partner, or an alternate Council representative is also invited. The National Community Awards are also attended by representatives from leading voluntary organisations, community sector professionals, members of parliament, media, and more.

Beforehand, each of the regional Supreme Winning groups provides a 1,000 word summary of their activity or project. At the Awards, they back this up with a short presentation. This is judged by an independent panel and by the other groups and on awards night, the Trustpower National Community Awards Supreme Winner is announced.

The Supreme Winner receives $2500 prize money*, a trophy, a framed certificate, and a $500 voucher for any Exult workshops or resources. The Award gains exposure in national media, so there is significant opportunity for the winning group to boost its profile.

Enter the next awards

You can enter any voluntary group or not-for-profit organisation for the Trustpower Community Awards, whether or not you are personally involved. Your local high school enters a year 13 student for the Youth Community Spirit Awards, through an internal selection process. 

Entries for the next Community Awards and Youth Community Spirit Awards close at different times throughout the year. Keep in touch with our updates through the Trustpower Community Connect website, or the Trustpower Community Facebook page

*All prize money is given to recognise and reward the commitment of winning volunteers. It is not given as grants, so how it is used is up to the winning organisation or individual.