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A group of volunteers in Te Puke who created a feature film called “The Z Nail Gang” have been recognised as the Supreme Winner at the 2014 Trustpower Western Bay of Plenty Community Awards.
Jess Somerville, Trustpower Community Relations Representative

Under the direction of commonUnity Productions a group of volunteers in Te Puke who created a feature film called “The Z Nail Gang” were tonight recognised at the 2014 Trustpower Western Bay of Plenty Community Awards as the Supreme Winner.

Over 90 people gathered at Comvita this evening for the Trustpower Western Bay of Plenty Community Awards which was presented by Western Bay of Plenty Mayor Ross Paterson and Trustpower Chief Executive Vince Hawksworth.

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

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

Mayor Ross Paterson says communityUnity Productions perfected the art of rallying a community to get in behind a project that everyone felt a sense of ownership in.

“The Z Nail Gang is not only an outstanding production but a fantastic example of what can be achieved when tapping the potential of a community that has a huge amount of talent and pride,” says Mayor Paterson.

Trustpower Community Relations Representative Jess Somerville says The Z Nail Gang was crafted on a shoestring budget and made possible thanks to goodwill of the Te Puke community.

“This award winning feature film tells the true story of the Coromandel mining protests during the 1980s, and how a tiny, disjointed community unified to stand against authority and against all odds, won. They did not employ conventional actors for this film and the majority of key crew and extra roles were filled by around 400 Te Puke volunteers.

“With the opportunity to be part of something big, many individuals, families, organisations and businesses took up the opportunity to be involved in this project. Every volunteer’s strength was celebrated, from the 12 year old with a passion for photography, to the teacher and students with an interest in fashion helping with wardrobe design, to talented local musicians helping with the sound.

“Community groups such as the Scouts, Rotary, Wetlands Society and a local ukulele band all had a role to play. Whether it was second hand clothes for the wardrobe, venues, props or first aid support, local organisations got right behind this project. Then there were businesses such as Maketu Pies, Te Puke Print and New World that all contributed too.

“For those who haven’t already seen this film, I highly recommend you check it out,” says Miss Somerville.

Forty-five entries were received for this year’s Trustpower Western Bay of Plenty Community Awards.
Other award recipients at tonight’s Trustpower Western Bay of Plenty Community Awards were:

Heritage and Environment
Commendation: Katikati Heritage Museum Society
Runner-Up: Athenree Homestead Trust Inc.
Winner: Waihi Beach Environment Society Inc.

Health and Well-being
Commendation: Growing Through Grief - Te Puke
Runner-Up: Te Puke Anti-Graffiti Group
Winner: Omokoroa Community Policing Group Charitable Trust

Arts and Culture
Runner-Up: Katikati Folk Club
Winner: Waihi Beach Community Events and Promotions

Sport and Leisure
Runner- up: Otanewainuku Forest Reserve – Picnic Area Care Group
Winner: TECT Pongakawa – The Action Centre

Education and Child/Youth Development
Runner-Up: Otamarakau School PTA
Winner: Katikati Community Resource Centre Inc

Supreme Winner
commonUnity Productions – The Z Nail Gang

Youth Spirit
Winner: Rikayla Richardson