The Awards were announced and presented on Thursday 7th November at a function at the War Memorial Hall in Wairoa.
For winning the Supreme Award, Whangawehi Catchment Management Group received a framed certificate, a trophy and $1,500 prize money. Whangawehi Catchment Management Group now has the opportunity to represent the region 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 Whangawehi Catchment Management Group is proactively addressing the community’s deep concerns about the potential effects of a waste water treatment plant on the cultural, historical, recreational and ecological values of this natural resource.
“This group is made up of landowners, tangata whenua and agencies who are all interested in protecting this resource. They’re focused on a substantial number of projects including an archaeological and spiritual survey of the catchment and securing funding to help landowners with their restoration work. They’ve set up a goat control strategy in order to protect future plantings, they’ve trained 15 local people to monitor their waterways and they’re working hard to raise awareness of their project.
And their cause is a good one – it has meant that this team has managed to secure funding for a local coordinator and a team of field assistants to conduct fish and water surveys over three years, as well as funding for 22,500 plants and a fence to help protect part of this special area too.
It doesn’t stop there. This group is ensuring that knowledge gained from this project is shared. They’ve presented at environmental-based events on how iwi, hapu and marae can engage effectively with local government to protect and enhance their natural environment. And they’ve developed a programme at Te Mahia School which will see a different environmental focus introduced each term, like kaimoana and fresh water monitoring, planting work and weaving.
Due to the efforts of this proactive and passionate group of volunteers, and for leading the way in environmental protection, management and education, the Whangawehi Catchment Management Group will be representing the Wairoa District at the next Trustpower National Community Awards,” says Suzi.
A healthy 25 entries were received for this year’s Trustpower Wairoa Community Awards.
Other recipients at the night’s Trustpower Wairoa Community Awards were:
Heritage and Environment
Runner-Up: Wairoa Museum Friends Trust
Winner: Whangawehi Catchment Management Group
Health and Well Being
Commendation: Wairoa Disability Transport Service
Runner-Up: Mainly Mums Wairoa
Winner: Mahia Emergency Services
Arts and Culture
Runner-Up: Poutaka Maori Women’s Welfare League
Winner: Wairoa Little Theatre
Sport and Leisure
Commendation: Tapuae Sports Club
Runner-Up: Wairoa Swimming Club
Winner: Wairoa Rodeo Club
Education and Child/Youth Development
Runner-Up: Turning Tides Foundation
Winner: YROA YNOT Youth Voice
Whangawehi Catchment Management Group