2011 TrustPower Wairoa Community Awards

Press Release – TrustPower

Wairoa Community Centre 5 September 2011 Our first award that we are going to present is the the TrustPower Wairoa Youth Community Spirit Award.
2011 TrustPower Wairoa Community Awards

Wairoa Community Centre
5 September 2011 Our first award that we are going to present is the
the TrustPower Wairoa Youth Community Spirit Award.

This is the third year that this award has been part of the TrustPower Community Awards. It is open to all Year 13 students in the Wairoa District who have given great service to their school and community. The winner of the award takes home $250 for themselves, and they also get to choose a community group to donate another $250 towards.

And we have here tonight one very special young person.

The winner of the 2011 TrustPower Wairoa Youth Community Spirit Award goes to
Timoti Rurehe-Lambert of Wairoa College.

Timoti has played a variety of sports at Wairoa College and is currently in the 1st XV. He has always participated in kapa haka and is a member of the team that went to the National Finals this year. He was third in the Manu Korero competition this year and then he developed a lesson around the concepts in his speech before delivering it to junior classes. Timoti is a prefect and he takes his responsibilities seriously. .

Timoti is well respected by students and staff and he often acts as a mentor for younger students. He is quietly spoken, but leads by example. He has assisted teachers in the special needs room and can often be seen helping Year 7 and 8 students with their rugby at lunchtimes. In addition to this he is running a school house talent quest, a multi-sport event for Year 7 and 8s and he has participated in college concerts and cultural events.

Out in the community, Timoti emceed the primary school kapa haka day, he’s tutored the Waikaremoana Primary School Kapa Haka Group and he’s tutored adults in raranga at Waikaremoana.

Overall, Timoti is an outstanding young man. He is a role model with his positive values and his ability to relate well with adults and his peers. Mary Stubbings, one of Timoti’s teachers says that “He is prepared to be supportive of his school and community at all times and he has a personal strength that is unusual for someone of his age.”

This is just a snapshot of Timoti and his community spirit. We think that Timoti has something very special going on, and we want to say a big thank you to you Timoti for giving so much to your school and community!

Now Timoti knows the deal, for winning this Award he receives $500; $250 for himself and the other $250 he gets to donate to a community group of his choice.

Category A Heritage & Environment

For fostering Wairoa history and assisting in the collection, collation and conservation of local heritage, the runner-up in the Heritage and Environment category goes to Wairoa Museum Friends.

These volunteers run the museum on Saturdays and help with desk duties throughout the week. They give quarterly presentations on early Wairoa and they host exhibitions as well as visits from local organisations. Recently, there has been a move to steer the museum down the better governance and strategic planning track, and both Te Papa and Te Puni Kokiri have helped with this.

The major fundraiser for this group was “The Sounds of Silents”. The Friends of the Museum were able to take the museum to the people by using the historic Gaiety Theatre to show black and white movies filmed in the Wairoa District and spanning 80 years of history. Many of the 200 people in the audience dressed in period costume to contest prizes for the best dressed. Ice creams and jaffas were available, making for a good old-fashioned Friday night at the flicks.

By hosting this film evening, this passionate group of 18 volunteers provided a nostalgic entertainment and local history experience for the community that also raised funds for this local treasure.

What a great idea!! All the best for the year ahead!

Category A Heritage & Environment

For facilitating the restoration and protection of the Lake Waikaremoana catchment, the winner of the Heritage and Environment category goes to the
Lake Waikaremoana Hapu Restoration Trust.

This trust was set up by tangata whenua in 2002 with the aim of stopping the population decline of the North Island Brown Kiwi in the Lake Waikaremoana catchment.

The immediate focus for this group was to create a mainland island and so they began on Puketukutuku Peninsula with a predator trapping programme. Later a predator-proof enclosure was built to keep kiwi chicks safe when stoat populations explode. A native worm farm was then set up as extra feed for kiwi kept in the enclosure. Finally a 1.5km fence was built across the neck of the peninsula to keep the kiwi from fleeing.

All of these efforts have resulted in the population of kiwi increasing significantly on Puketukutuku Peninsula. The trust is now working towards recreating this success on Whareama Peninsula by building an anti-dispersal fence on the peninsula as well as establishing trapping and monitoring programmes. As this area is only accessible by boat, the trust is looking forward to completing this fence along 2km of rugged terrain.

Add to this the trust’s annual kiwi call survey thanks to over fifty volunteers and some DoC staff, educational seminars held at local marae to inform the community and helping out with the Ngutu Kaka Recovery Programme and the Tuna Survey Project and it’s clear that this group is achieving great things.


Category B
Health &Wellbeing

The judges found this category extremely tough to judge as each of the following groups are a tremendous asset to the Wairoa District. We have two joint runner-up awards and two joint winner awards to present. The first joint runner-up tonight is Wairoa Grey Power. With over 200 members, the twelve volunteers behind this group do a tremendous job of being an active voice for all older people. Covering rural and urban areas including Tuai, Nuhaka, Mahia and Whakaki these volunteers work hard to get members to participate in community activities and the group’s luncheons which host speakers covering local issues. They produce a quarterly magazine for their members and they lobby the government with concerns for issues affecting the elderly. What is exceptionally generous of this group is that some of these volunteers are 70 years old and over and they are more than happy to provide transport to help their fellow senior citizens attend. Wairoa Grey Power works hard to promote the social and economic wellbeing of older New Zealanders through its provision of help and information on health, electricity and safer community issues. They hope by doing this they will enable all local senior citizens to live in comfort and dignity. Thank you for providing this for your community.

Category B
Health &Wellbeing Our second joint runner-up tonight in this category of Health and Well-being goes to
Wairoa Lighthouse Lions.

With an aim to take an active interest in the community, this service-based group put on two successful local events in the past year.

In November they hosted a beach fishing competition at Whakamahi Beach on a wet and chilly day. With a 5.30am start and the weather getting worse, 100 rods had been entered within the first hour with another 57 entered even with the conditions worsening. A pre-ordered hangi lunch was delivered to the competing fishermen and women along the beach. Over $2,000 was given out as prizes and with the support of the Wairoa public, another $2,000 in profit was able to be donated to the Wairoa Food Bank.

Then in March this year, the Wairoa Lighthouse Lions held a sponsored walk to raise funds for Ozanam House, a cancer patient and carers’ accommodation facility in Palmerston North which is used by a lot of Wairoa cancer patients. Sponsored walkers were asked to raise $50 but most of the 200 walkers surpassed this with $6,000 being donated to Ozanam House, following a previous donation of $1,000 earlier in the year.

Not only did these events raise substantial funds which were donated to other organisations in need, but they also encouraged local people to get involved in these causes while getting out and about and enjoying a leisure activity at the same time.

And these two lots of donations were part of over $21,000 that this group had fundraised and donated in the past year.

A truly outstanding effort – congratulations!

Category B
Health &Wellbeing Our first joint winner in the category of Health and Wellbeing goes to
Wairoa Disability Transport Service.

This group provides a transport service for the elderly and disabled citizens of Wairoa or those who are experiencing financial hardship, who need to attend appointments or their weekly shopping or banking errands.

These nine volunteers ensure a reliable and comfortable transport service with wheelchair facilities and flexible time arrangements. Although a low fare is charged for routine travel, this is tough for many of the clients and so additional funding has been sourced to keep the service operating. This means urban travel to primary health providers is free, despite increases in the cost of fuel and GST levies.

The Wairoa Disability Transport Service is valuable and essential to the health and wellbeing of not only the current users, but also to the spirit of the town and community. Thanks to this group, the service users and their friends and whanau are able to maintain their sense of community and their interaction within it.

Category B
Health &Wellbeing

Our second joint winner in the category of Health and Wellbeing goes to
St John Ambulance Wairoa.

Twenty four hours, seven days a week, this group of volunteers are on call to provide
pre-hospital emergency care to anyone in need. What is extraordinary about these volunteers is that there is only eleven of them.

These volunteers are a vital first link for the community when an accident happens or illness strikes. They train to the same levels as paid officers. This means not only giving up their time to be on call every week but also giving time to attend weekly training nights and regular weekend training sessions to ensure they provide suitable ambulance services and can assist hospital staff and doctors as required.

Volunteers cover 12 hour shifts and due to the Wairoa station encompassing a large area, volunteers will complete a 12 hour shift for St John and then return to their paid employment the following day. Due to the low staffing levels of paid St John staff, the volunteers have rostered themselves in a way to ensure that the ambulance is always supervised by two officers in a call out.

There is even one special volunteer who has been a St John volunteer for over 20 years.

What a fantastic and committed service you provide for your community. Thank you for being there in those times of need.

Category C Arts & Culture

The runner-up in the category of arts and culture goes to
Poutaka Maori Women’s Welfare League.

Amongst many things, this group enables its members to participate in the spiritual, social, cultural and economic development of their whanau and community. They have an interest in the holistic health of Maori and the promotion of lifelong education and training.

This Maori Women’s Welfare League group of 40 also works hard to revive, preserve and maintain the teaching of Maori arts, crafts and Te Reo Maori while keeping the ethics of Tikanga Maori alive. One example of this activity was the successful arts and crafts workshops held during the week of Matariki with lots of positive feedback coming in from local rangatahi to pakeke. Lots of new skills were learnt by the participants and the Poutaka Maori Women’s Welfare League hope that these will be continued and shared with others in the community.

Well done!

Category C Arts & Culture

For offering free piano lessons as well as delivering three recitals for the community, the winner of the Arts and Culture category goes to Wairoa Museum Friends.

There’s more to your local museum than the great job it does of collecting and conserving the cultural and natural history of the Wairoa district. Following the gift of a piano to the museum, it now offers free piano lessons two days a week, every week during the school term. Currently the museum has 14 pupils making the most of this opportunity. So far, over 200 half-hour lessons have been provided to the community since February this year!

Last year, the museum organised three community recitals held at the Presbyterian Hall. Over 450 hours of practice time was invested into these free community events. More than 160 people came out to enjoy the local piano-playing talent.

The museum has now organised and hosted two of the four lunch-time recitals and I believe you had one on today?

Category D Sport & Leisure

For providing and promoting water based sport and recreation programmes, the runner-up in the Sport and Leisure category goes to Hoe Waka Wairoa. With a membership of about 50 people, Hoe Waka Wairoa encourages participation, competition and a healthy lifestyle in a safe and friendly environment. The club has provided coaching for adults and juniors over the summer season with waka crews out on the river most days throughout summer. For the first time two junior teams and three secondary school teams attended national competitions and four primary school teams attended a regional regatta. Thanks to this sports club, many children and youth have a new sport and recreational interest that provides a cultural connection and develops confidence on and around the river with some families spending more time together. Well done!

Category D Sports & Leisure

For promoting team work, fitness and a safe place for all ages who love netball, the winner of the Sport and Leisure category goes to Wairoa Netball Centre.

A core group of 6 volunteers (with one being involved in the sport locally for over 30 years) do a multitude of tasks including seeking funds to ensure the longevity of the sport, running the canteen and maintaining the grounds. This group is working hard to build up the sport by encouraging budding junior players and developing umpires at local and regional levels which is done in their spare time and during night classes all funded by the volunteers. As a result of this group’s commitment, the Wairoa Netball Centre has eight representative teams who have participated all over the country. The Wairoa Netball Centre is working hard to upgrade their building and during a recent refurbishment the volunteer families worked every weekend for a month to upgrade and clean it. We wish you the very best for the continued momentum that this club is achieving.

Category E Education & Child Youth Development

The runner-up award for Education and Child/Youth Development goes to
Wairoa Citizens Advice Bureau.

Eleven volunteers provide a wide range of free, confidential and impartial information and advice based on the public’s needs. They hold training and development courses and lectures on subjects of interest to the community to ensure that Wairoa’s citizens are better equipped with general knowledge and law changes.

The Wairoa Citizens Advice Bureau has had a great year for up-skilling its volunteers, growing their knowledge in a variety of areas including social development, health and safety and employment relations. This knowledge flows through to the community and leads to strengthening the community’s economic health, empowering people and encouraging social cohesion.

Wairoa Citizens Advice Bureau knows that investment in education and sharing it benefits the individual and society as a whole. We thank you for this huge commitment.


Category E Education & Child Youth Development

For providing programmes and opportunities that give local youth the skills to succeed in life, the winner of the Education and Child/Youth Development category goes to
YROA YNOT Youth Voice.

We learnt about this outstanding local group through the dvd shown at the beginning of this awards presentation and through Ali’s talk. Here’s some more information about what this group has been up to in the last year.

With 200 members and 10 volunteers, YROA YNOT has been involved in a huge number of events that provide mentoring and leadership training for the volunteers while providing sport and recreational activities for its members and the community.

YROA YNOT was right behind a boxing tournament that raised money for youth in the Wairoa district, a skate competition that celebrated Waitangi Day as well as Matariki events. This group also supported a whanau water sports day, a rangatahi pool party, the mayoral bike challenge, a hunting programme and the 40 hour Famine. During these events the group help with project planning, catering, facilitating activities, marshalling and entertainment. YROA YNOT also help other community organisations with their events, ensuring that these initiatives are a success as well.

As a result, the youth in this district are more active and involved in their community and school, and with their whanau and friends. CONGRATULATIONS!


The TrustPower Wairoa Community Awards Supreme Winner for 2011 goes to the
Lake Waikaremoana Hapu Restoration Trust.

We heard all about the hard work this group is part of when they won the Heritage and Environment category earlier tonight.

Because of this work, the trust has raised the awareness of the responsibility that everyone has in preserving and restoring the local environment. Through the trust’s projects and addition to what we learnt earlier, this group has provided opportunities for volunteers and the community to learn new skills while encouraging a younger community to get into conservation through education programmes at a local school, kohanga reo and marae.

CONGRATULATIONS once again! Thank you for your hard slog in preserving this special parcel of land along with its very special taonga.

We will be seeing you at the TrustPower National Community Awards in the Ashburton District in March next year.

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