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Their collaboration has turned the Kiwi Trust into an organisation capable of educating the public, protecting the birds and facilitating research.
Jess Somerville, Trustpower Community Relations Representative

The 2014 Trustpower National Community Awards, run over three days, recognises last year’s top volunteer groups and organisations from 27 districts across New Zealand. The Whakatane Kiwi Trust will represent your region on this national stage.

 

Trustpower Community Relations Representative Jess Somerville says the Trust “works tirelessly, harnessing people power and good public relations to achieve their goals”.

 

“Since the Department of Conservation (Doc) discovered kiwis breeding in the area in 2000, the people of the Whakatane district have been right behind protecting our national bird. I’m amazed at the awesome partnerships between Ngati Awa, DoC, the council and regional council.

 

“Their collaboration has turned the Kiwi Trust into an organisation capable of educating the public, protecting the birds and facilitating research. That’s a huge amount of voluntary work,” Miss Somerville says.

 

Since its inception in 2006, the Whakatane Kiwi Trust has carried out protection and breeding programmes, resulting in a local kiwi population of more than 300 – an incredible number for the vulnerable species. More than 3000 hours of volunteer work per year are estimated to have contributed to this success.

 

While in Wellington this weekend, each group will present for eight minutes on their achievements, also outlining why they deserve to win the top prize of $2,500. Presentations take place on Saturday (March 28) at the Memorial Lecture Theatre at Victoria University, followed by an awards dinner at Te Papa.

 

Along with representatives from the Whakatane Kiwi Trust, Mayor Tony Bonne from the Whakatane District Council and his wife Linda will also be in attendance.