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Environmental heroes rewarded with awards

Environmental heroes rewarded with awards

For immediate release: Thursday 23 September 2004

A Rotorua rat trapper, two Maori groups from the eastern Bay of Plenty, and a rural primary school have been rewarded by Environment Bay of Plenty for their “fantastic work” over the past year.

At a ceremony in Whakatane today, chairman John Cronin presented special awards to 18 of the region’s environmental heroes.

Environment Bay of Plenty’s Environmental Awards are an annual event that celebrates the work being done by community groups, educational organisations, individuals and businesses to improve and protect the environment in the Bay of Plenty. “They recognise the outstanding contributions made by people and groups to the region’s environment,” Mr Cronin says.

The regional council received a record 33 nomination for its Environmental Awards this year, including four by staff for a new category for resource consent holders.

Award winners for 2004 are:

Individual

Winner: Bob Scopes of Rotorua for excellence in innovation and dedication to rat and mice control. Bob is very involved in a long-running project to control pests at Lake Tarawera. He also designed and built a rat bait dispenser that is now being used in other parts of New Zealand.

Highly Commended: Ernest and Jean Alspach of Opotiki for significant work in restoration on their property. The Alspach’s have protected and restored 35 acres of broadleaf/podocarp forest on their farm near Opotiki. They maintain tracks for people to enjoy free of charge.

Highly Commended: John Brierley (Kawerau) for significant work in the restoration and development of the 39-ha Monika Lanham Reserve in Kawerau. John initiated and developed a wetland pond in the reserve and has contributed many voluntary hours to fieldwork, planning and facilitation.

Acknowledgement of Achievement: Braden Gedson, a natural environmentalist at 11 years old, for significant work in pest control in the Waiotahe Valley; Leisha Skevington, a Tauranga Girls College student, for significant work in environmental education, including helping to set up a school recycling centre.
Community

Joint winner: Te Rangatahi o te Whenua Trust (Opotiki) for excellence in various project and educational work. The trust has initiated several environmental projects, including a possum eradication programme where over 10,000 possums were exterminated in nine months. They have established a native plant nursery, initiated restoration projects in Torere, and are researching ways to protect mussels.
Joint winner: Ohinemataroa River Management Committee, Taneatua, for excellence in restoration, education and community involvement. This group has removed rubbish, fenced and replanted land, established a native nursery and provided grassland for community activities.
Highly Commended: Tanners Point Pest Free Peninsula Project for significant work in community involvement, education and biodiversity; Coastlands Coast Care for significant work in community involvement and education in dune restoration; and Otanewainuku Kiwi Trust for significant work in the protection, education and preservation of kiwi.
Education

Winner: Taneatua School for excellence in various environmental initiatives around the school and community, including riverside planting, a school native bush area, a recycling station and worm farms.

Highly Commended: Waihi Beach Primary School for significant work in the restoration of school grounds through student and community involvement; and Selwyn Primary School in Rotorua for significant work in student involvement in various environmental projects developed throughout the school.
Acknowledgement of Achievement: Keep Rotorua Beautiful for significant work in various environmental programmes around Rotorua.
Consent Compliance

Acknowledgement of Achievement: Tauranga Sandblasting Ltd, A and V Barr Family Trust (Awakeri), M and M Harvesting (Motu); Claymark New Zealand Ltd (Katikati). All four businesses were awarded for outstanding actions that exceed the consent compliance requirements of Environment Bay of Plenty.

ENDS

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