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Opportunity to Be a Part of the National Community Awards


This Friday (24 March), 25 voluntary groups from around the country, with their regional Mayors and Senior Councillors in tow, will arrive in Rotorua for a weekend long event to celebrate volunteerism and vie for the prestigious title of the Trustpower National Community Awards Supreme Winner.

The Trustpower National Community Awards offers the rare opportunity to put volunteers and the work they do in the spotlight in front of a cohort of Mayors, Councillors and a myriad of other guests.

Amongst the cohort are guests who are part of the independent judging panel. This panel includes Billie Jordan, founder, teacher and Manager of the Hip Op-eration Crew, 2015 New Zealander of the Year Local Hero and MNZM recipient; Kristin Hall from TVONE Seven Sharp’s; and Sue McCabe, Chief Executive of the Who Did you Help Today Trust, and co-founder and co-manager of Community Comms Collective.

The weekend is also a chance to showcase Rotorua, its uniqueness and local flavours, setting the scene for the voluntary organisations in attendance to learn with one another, share new experiences and tell their story on a national stage.

Representing Rotorua Lakes is Te Waiariki Purea Trust Ira Matatau Rangatahi Leadership Programme – an honour they won after being named Supreme Winner at the Trustpower Rotorua Lakes Community Awards last year.

Te Waiariki Purea Trust Ira Matatau Rangatahi Leadership Programme will give an eight minute presentation on what the group has achieved and why they deserve the title of Trustpower National Community Award Supreme Winner. Te Waiariki Purea Trust Ira Matatau Rangatahi Leadership Programme will be judged on that presentation, along with a 1,000 word summary of the organisation.

Rotorua Mayor Steve Chadwick says she’s thrilled to be hosting this year’s finalists and particularly proud to be able to support local youth involved in Te Waiariki Purea Trust’s Ira Matatau Rangatahi Leadership Programme.

“This is a trust that has been doing invaluable work in our community for a long time, working with youth, with whanau and with the community,” Mayor Chadwick says.

“Through its work the trust is growing strong, confident, competent young people, teaching them skills they will take with them through adulthood. It’s wonderful to see our young people become young leaders.

“I congratulate all our finalists and welcome them to our wonderful district to enjoy our hospitality as they celebrate their achievements. Our communities simply wouldn’t function without the dedication and hard work of all our many volunteers.”

The presentations will take place on Saturday 25 March in the BayTrust Forum at Rotorua Energy Events Centre, and Trustpower Community Relations Representative Emily Beaton, encourages Rotorua locals to get along to the Energy Events Centre, to show their support for Te Waiariki Purea Trust.

“This group of volunteers have put a lot of work into rangatahi; engaging and motivating them to be active participants in the community around them.

This weekend is their time share this story, on a national stage, and shine a light on everything that they have achieved.”

Trustpower would like to extend the invitation to all Rotorua locals to attend the presentations and show their support for not only the Te Waiariki Purea Trust, but for volunteering as a whole.

“The opportunity to hear 25 inspiring and powerful stories of voluntary groups from around the country is a special experience to be part of and to have that right here on your doorstep is an absolute novelty.

I guarantee that hearing these stories will resonate with you and you will be blown away by the passion and heart that these people have for what they do,” says Miss Beaton.

Blair Gilbert, National Manager of Community and Life Enrichment Services at the Blind Foundation and volunteer fire fighter with the Lake Okareka Rural Fire Force, is also part of the independent judging panel. He’s representing local Rotorua group Youth and Emergency Services (YES) which was awarded the runner-up prize at last year’s National Community Awards event.

Mr Gilbert urges locals to come out to hear the stories from the presenting community groups. “I love hearing about the innovative programmes and ideas we may not have tried before. It makes things possible and encourages you to have a go in your community.

Everyone needs to hear these stories. This event highlights the best people and the best of communities. When you hear innovative and aspirations ideas come to fruition, it starts your mind thinking to what else is possible.”

The presentations begin at 8.20am on Saturday 25 March in the BayTrust Forum at the Rotorua Energy Events Centre. There will be public seating provided and attendees are urged to be mindful and courteous of groups presenting by not coming and going between or during presentations but attending each session as a whole [refer to timetable for details]. Please indicate your interest in attending by emailing Emily Beaton of Trustpower at emily@trustpower.co.nz

The Winner, Runner-Up and recipient of the Whetū Mātaiata Award will be announced at a formal Awards dinner that evening at Blue Baths.

Attending the Trustpower National Community Awards from Te Waiariki Purea Trust Ira Matatau Rangatahi Leadership Programme will be Maylene Meroiti and Kaimai-Rose Lee, along with Rotorua Lakes Mayor Steve Chadwick and her husband John.

The Trustpower National Community Awards Supreme Winner will take home a custom-made trophy, $4,000 in prize money, a framed certificate and a $1,000 consultancy voucher from one of New Zealand’s leading training providers for the community sector, Exult. The Runner Up will receive $2,500 in prize money, a $500 Exult voucher and a framed certificate. The Whetū Mātaiata Award recipient receives a framed certificate and a consultancy service package from award sponsor, Exult.

Mr Gilbert said, on behalf of YES, felt that receiving the runner up award at last year’s Trustpower National Community Awards was a huge honour for all emergency services staff and the young people involved.

“The award has given the YES programme strength and reinforced that our programme is on the right track. We can positively say ‘it is one of the best youth development programmes we have in New Zealand” and it was developed in our small community of Lake Okareka, Rotorua.

Meanwhile, entries are now being taken for the 2017 Trustpower Rotorua Lakes Community Awards. Anyone can enter a group for the Awards and all voluntary groups and not-for-profit organisations are eligible to be entered. Entries close on Friday 14 April. The Supreme Winner of the 2017 Trustpower Rotorua Lakes Community Awards will go to the Trustpower National Community Awards in 2018.
To enter a group online, head along to www.trustpower.co.nz/communityawards

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