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These volunteers are rightfully proud of their village and are doing everything they can to enhance it and make it the bustling town again that it once was.
Emily Beaton, Trustpower Community Relations Representative

The Kumara Residents Trust has won the Supreme Award at the 2014 Trustpower Westland Community Awards.

The Awards were announced and presented tonight (Monday 11 August) at a function at the Beachfront Hotel Hokitika.

For winning the Supreme Award, The Kumara Residents Trust received a framed certificate, a trophy and $1,500 prize money. The Kumara Residents Trust now has the opportunity to represent the district at the 2014 Trustpower National Community Awards, which are being held in Wellington in March 2015.

In total, Trustpower has given away over $5,000 to various community groups through tonight’s Awards.

Trustpower Community Relations Representative Emily Beaton says “The Kumara Residents Trust are proud of their village and are constantly striving to enhance it, a massive congratulations to the Kumara Residents Trust.

This group of volunteers saw that their community was lacking in pride and community spirit but knew that Kumara had great potential, so they set to work. The first project they undertook was enhancing the appearance of their main street. One of the most focal points as you drove into the village from the western end was a row of recycling bins – not an attractive first impression! Through the efforts of these volunteers, they have relocated these unsightly but necessary bins and the main street is now lined with an avenue of Liquid Amber trees with beautiful under plantings of a variety of flowers. After being granted permission to remove stones from a local river, volunteers arrived with many trailers and collected loads of stones to build a stone drinking fountain that ties in with the heritage look and is complete with a drip tray for dogs. One of the volunteers put in many hours to create this fountain.

The volunteers were saddened that there was nothing to inform the visitors of the historic stories of the village, so after raising funds they were able to put up large historic pictorial panels telling their pioneering stories. They have also placed smaller panels along a heritage walkway.

Ongoing projects such as the Kumara Gala Days are a main source of fundraising, with both of the galas they have held raising around $5000 each. On the first occasion they gifted the money to the Kumara Memorial Hall to aid in the hall upkeep as it is regarded as the heart of the community. These galas see volunteers baking, BBQ’ing, running chocolate wheels, organising egg and spoon races, the list goes on. Their next huge project is a Kumara Memorial Chinese Garden and they currently have secured two empty sections on the main street which were gifted to them.

We can’t wait for them to share their journey at the 2014 Trustpower National Community Awards next March!” says Miss Beaton.

Other winners at tonight’s Trustpower Westland Community Awards were:

Heritage and Environment
Runner-Up: Wonderful West Coast Clean Up
Winner: Westland Region Environment Network

Health and Well Being
Commendation: Hokitika Grey Power
Commendation: Hokitika Westland RSA
Runner-Up: Hokitika Community Patrol
Winner: West Coast Riding for the Disabled

Arts and Culture
Winner: Westland Arts Inc

Sports and Leisure
Runner- up: Hokitika Rugby League Club
Winner: West's Rugby Football Club

Education and Child/Youth Development
Runner-Up: Girl Guiding Hokitika
Winner: Big Brothers Big Sisters

Supreme Winner
The Kumara Residents Trust

Youth Spirit
Winner: Will Schmetz, South Westland Area School