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Awards for great work for the environment

Thursday 7 December 2006

Awards for great work for the environment

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The winners in this year’s Environment Bay of Plenty Environmental Awards.

A man who recycles batteries, a community group keen on kokako, and a restoration project at a whanau marae…you don’t have to look far to find people doing great things for the Bay of Plenty environment.

This year’s Environment Bay of Plenty Environmental Awards have again recognised excellent work by the region’s environmental heroes. Councillors acknowledged this year’s award winners at a lunchtime ceremony in Whakatane today (Thursday 7 December).

The council received 37 entries for the community awards, twice as many as last year. Entries flowed in from all over the Bay of Plenty, and included individuals, community groups, educational organisations and businesses.

Environment Bay of Plenty chairman, John Cronin, says the awards highlight one of the positive features of the people in the Bay of Plenty. ”It's great to see such positive involvement from our community.”
The awards included the environmental journalism awards this year. Usually this is a separate event.

Award winners are:

Winner: Dave Lind, Tauranga: For excellent work in the environment – especially within the Waikaraka Estuary Managers group. Under Dave’s guidance the estuary has been re-planted, seen a return of fish life, and had an increase in recreational use. Dave’s commitment to estuary health is also shown by his keenness to help others find solutions to marine environmental issues.
Highly commended
 Joanna Butler of Hannah’s Bay Catchment Group, Rotorua: For work with pest control, plantings and wetland education. Working with the community, Joanna has helped raise awareness about wetlands and conservation at the Hannah’s Bay Recreation Reserve in Rotorua.
 Carole Long, Tauranga: For work involving the native environment and conservation. Carole has played a major role in forming Otanewainuku Kiwi Trust. She is a great advocate for the conservation of all flora and fauna in our environment.
Special acknowledgement
 Roy Dingelmann, Katikati: For work undertaken in the collection and recycling of batteries. Roy’s diligent efforts in the correct disposal of lead batteries help to protect the local environment from unnecessary damage.

Community Group
Winner: Kaharoa Kokako Trust, Rotorua: For excellent environmental work around the Kaharoa forest. Kokako numbers are now on the increase and pest numbers are down. Neighbouring landowners have also been encouraged to take up pest control action by this group. The trust’s work has been largely successful thanks to the positive relationships built between the community and the government agencies.
Highly Commended
 Lake Tarawera Pest Control Group: For great environmental work focusing on the Lake Tarawera area. The group’s work has resulted in a drop in the number of rats and mice in the area and, consequently, a return of native birds.
 Otanewainuku Kiwi Trust: For work completed to increase kiwi survival through pest control, monitoring and education. In the past year this group has given 2500 hours of volunteer work to the up-keep of the Otanewainuku forest. Their main goal is to ensure the existence of kiwi and other native species.
 Matenga Hemaima Oki Oki Whanau Trust, Opotiki: For a great environmental enhancement project around the whanau marae. One of group’s aims is to enhance the hauora (health and wellbeing) of the Waioweka community. They’ve also restored and beautified cultural and historical areas around the marae.
 Hamurana Springs, Rotorua: For working towards a 10 year ecological plan including work in pest control and plantings. A conscientious approach to the weed-busting of the area has restored much of the original beauty.
Special award
Ohiwa Reserve Care Group, Opotiki: For many years’ work in the Bay of Plenty natural environment. Especially noted is their work with Waiotahe School. The students were shown how to grow indigenous seedlings and then carried out a planting programme to help restore Tern Island. The group was given a
$500 digital camera, donated by Ricoh, for its work.

Educational Organisations
Winner: Pongakawa School, Te Puke: For excellent environmental work on the Pongakawa Reserve. Under the guidance of two local native tree enthusiasts, the ‘Enviro Group’ of Pongakawa School and the community began restoring the reserve. Today, it is an educational six minute walk through native bush, of which the community are very proud of.
Highly Commended
 Rangitaiki Independent School, Whakatane: For environmental work in the Rangitaiki Independent School and community area. The school and the community have been involved in many environmental projects including worm farming, enviro-gardens, dune-care, recycling and beautification. They have also been an Enviro School for three years.
 Urban Greenspace Project, Tauranga Environment Centre: For great environmental work establishing and supporting environmental care groups in the Tauranga area. The co-ordination of this project group has helped many volunteers grow their own awareness and knowledge of sustainable land management. These people have then gone on to help with many beautification projects in Tauranga.

Winner: Fulton Hogan Bay of Plenty: For excellent environmental protection work on the Omokoroa Peninsula Foreshore. This project was completed fully compliant, without any harm to people, property or the environment and was completed ahead of schedule and under budget. Fulton Hogan ensured there would be minimal damage to the environment with the use of ‘alternative methodology’. They also consulted and informed all interested members of the community at the very beginning of the project.
Highly Commended
 Bayfair Shopping Centre: For environmental strategies and work around waste, energy consumption and recycling. Good recycling systems were put in place for the reduction of excessive waste. Energy use was analysed and improved. Bayfair is now planning to continue on its journey to becoming a benchmark for sustainable retail environments

Winner (radio): Monica Holt: As a radio journalist, Monica has put together a number of story packages related to the Bay environment, including the Rotorua lakes. This work helps raise awareness about these important issues.
Winner (print): Carly Udy, Carly’s submission included articles about ants, kiwi and the Tauranga Environment Centre – which has also won an award today. She is a good, snappy writer and well deserving of this award.
Special Award: Stuart Whitaker: Stuart has always supported Coast Care and other community environmental projects with stories in the Bay News. This is a special award to acknowledge his work over many years. He was nominated by staff for it.


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