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Awards for Environmental Heroes


Awards for Environmental Heroes

Friday 14 December 2007

A Kawerau reserve volunteer, a kiwi protection community group and a school programme on the Rotorua Lakes are among this year’s winners of the Environment Bay of Plenty Environmental Awards.

The awards ceremony, held in Tauranga yesterday (Thursday 13 December), recognised people, community groups, educational programmes and businesses for their contribution to the Bay of Plenty environment.

John Brierley, of Kawerau, scooped the individual award for his ongoing contribution to the Monika Lanham Reserve.

Top community group was the Otanewainuku Kiwi Trust which this year released four North Island brown kiwi and plan to create a kiwi crèche.

A programme on the Rotorua Lakes clean up led to Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Te Rotoiti winning the educational organisation category.

Fulton Hogan received the business award for its sustainable practices while working on stage one of the Harbour Link Project.

An article in North and South magazine on Ohiwa helped freelance reporter Jim Robinson win the print media section, while Monica Holt was recognised for her Radio New Zealand reports on climate change and Mount Maunganui’s dunes.

The council received 31 entries for the awards from across the Bay of Plenty. Environment Bay of Plenty chairman, John Cronin, said the awards highlight the will in the community to celebrate and enhance our environment.

”It's fantastic to see people and organisations in our communities making such a positive difference to the environment,” he said.

Award winners were:

Winner: John Brierley, Kawerau
John has been involved in voluntary work with the Monika Lanham Reserve in Kawerau. He has helped with the selection of sites, supervision of planting, pest plant control and showing people around the reserve. He now voluntarily manages the project, in association with Kawerau District Council.

Highly Commended
 Barbara Collis, Kutarere. Barbara, and her late husband, recreated a wetland to provide a natural link between their farm and the Rerekoau Stream, which flows into the Ohiwa Harbour. The purpose of this wetland is to capture sediment from further up the catchment, buffer flood flows, provide a wetland habitat and enhance biodiversity.

 Bill Clark, Onepu. Bill had a vision to transform a local swampy area into a wetland. He liaised with the owner, Norske Skog Tasman Ltd, and also Environment Bay of Plenty to make it happen. Today the area has been planted in natives and even at this early stage, hosts pied stilts and native fish. Without Bill’s dedication and enthusiasm the area would now be planted in pine.

 Neil Overend, Tauranga. For voluntary assistance with the Bay of Plenty’s EDay’s.
 Selwyn Hutchings Welcome Bay. For leading the Osprey Reserve Care group.

Community Group
Winner: Otanewainuku Kiwi Trust, Te Puke
The trust is an excellent example of how to set up an effectively working group of volunteers, who organise themselves to primarily carry out pest control and kiwi monitoring. After four years of intensive trapping and possum control this year’s highlight was the release of four North Island brown kiwi, which were bred in captivity. Future visions include establishing a ‘kiwi creche’ and an educational visitor centre.

Highly Commended
 Awahou Care Group, Ngongotaha, Rotorua. Jaap van Dorsser has led volunteers in a great community project – the Awahou stream side restoration. Pest plants have been cleared and replaced with beautiful natives as part of a dedicated and inspiring project.

Special Award
 Bangladeshi Community Tauranga. The Bangladeshi community’s Project Green encourages children to grow vegetables and promotes healthy eating. The project involves 50 families and more than 1000 children.

Educational Organisations
Winner: Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Te Rotoiti, Rotoiti. Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Te Rotoiti conducted a two-part programme to help clean up the Rotorua Lakes. Part one is restoration and prevention through education where the principles of kaitiakitanga (stewardship) are taught and part two is sustainability through recycling. A Cleaner Production report noted they are currently working under best practice. The school also produced a play and DVD based on the programme.

Highly Commended
 Tauranga Girls College. The Tauranga Girls’ College Environment Committee grew from the start of the year from 10 to 21 pupils. The group has set up a paper and cardboard recycling programme for the 2000 strong school community. They plan to have a full recycling programme in place by mid 2008, including recycling of plastic and bottles.

Winner: Fulton Hogan Bay of Plenty. Fulton Hogan has implemented sustainable and innovative pavement design and construction practices in carrying out stage one of the Harbour Link Project, Tauranga. Great effort has gone into the consideration of the environment throughout stage one with dustless technology, foam bitumen stabilisation and eco-friendly dust suppressing polymer.

Winner (print): Jim Robinson, freelance writer. For his excellent piece in North and South magazine on Ohiwa and a piece in Wilderness magazine on Whirinaki. Also for his continued dedication to covering Bay of Plenty sporting events.

- Kath Walsh, Opotiki News senior reporter. For highlighting the Opotiki community’s involvement in environmental projects
- Mark Dawson, Whakatane Beacon. For building awareness of global issues at a community level.

Winner (radio): Monica Holt, Radio New Zealand. For her reports on the Ohiwa Bay Bird Sanctuary, Mount Maunganui sand dunes and climate change.


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