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What started out as a wetland project has now morphed into a venture with sporting, recreational, environmental and historical value.
Suzi Luff, Trustpower Community Relations Coordinator

The Awards were announced and presented on Tuesday 27th August at a function at the Little Theatre in Whakatane, attended by over 150 people. 

For winning the Supreme Award, Onepu Community Recreation Park received a framed certificate, a trophy and $1,500 prize money. Onepu Community Recreation Park now has the opportunity to represent the district at the 2013 TrustPower National Community Awards, which are being held in Invercargill and Southland regions in March 2014. 

In total, TrustPower presented over $5,000 to various community groups through the night’s Awards.

TrustPower Community Relations Coordinator Suzi Luff says what started out as a wetland project has now morphed into a venture with sporting, recreational, environmental and historical value. 

“Onepu Community Recreation Park has seen more people get involved with the park in the last year, generating more ideas, enthusiasm and energy and bringing in more expertise. As a result, this band of volunteers has cleverly divided the park into three areas, each with a passionate team and leader. 

There’s the lake team, which has started a five year restoration plan for Lake Tamurenui, which includes pest control, native planting and historical interpretation boards. 

There’s the team working on the mountain bike park which has been spectacularly successful, with 6,000 rides in the last year. This team has plans to build a shelter kiosk and develop another seven kilometres of track this year. 

Then there’s the wetlands arboretum team. They’re upgraded the wetlands tracks to wheel chair and push chair standards and they’ve added another 240 specimen trees to their collection this winter. 

There are no fees to enjoy this park, but a high degree of ownership and commitment by an increasing number of “Friends of the Onepu Park.” And for creating a space that brings the community together to share in the fabulous Eastern Bay of Plenty, the volunteers behind the Onepu Community Recreation Park are leaving a legacy for future generations,” says Suzi. 

Forty eight were entered into this year’s TrustPower Whakatane District Community Awards.

Other recipients at the night’s TrustPower Whakatane District Community Awards were: 

Heritage and Environment
Runner-Up: Edgecumbe Development and Improvement Team
Winner: Whakatane Harbour Care 

 Health and Well Being
Commendation: Whanau Awhina Women’s Refuge
Runner-Up: Hospice EBOP
Winner: Victim Support EBOP 

Arts and Culture
Runner-Up: Whakatane Society Arts and Crafts
Winner: Shona’s Sunshiners Ukulele Group 

Sport and Leisure
Runner- Up: Eastern Bay of Plenty Gymnastics Club
Winner: Whakatane Athletic and Harrier Club 

Education and Child/Youth Development
Runner-Up: Life Education Trust EBOP
Winner: 35 Squadron Whakatane Air Training Corps 

Supreme Winner
Onepu Community Recreation Park 

Youth Community Spirit
Winner: Samantha Duff, Murupara Area School
Finalist: Lorilei Punga, Trident High School
Finalist: Jack Alison, Whakatane High School 

For more information or for photos of the winners please contact:


Suzi Luff

Community Relations Coordinator


(07) 572 8381 or 021 220 8894