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Save Fiordland is voted number one

Save Fiordland is voted number one

Outdoor enthusiasts have voted Save Fiordland as the best conservation initiative over the past 12 months in the inaugural Wilderness Outdoor Awards.

The charity has been fighting proposals to build the Routeburn Tunnel and the monorail through Snowdon Forest – campaigns that trampers and mountaineers throughout the country have deemed important enough to commend the group for its work.

Chairman of Save Fiordland, Bill Jarvie, says the result is a great morale boost for the team: “To be nominated gave us a tremendous boost. And to win shows us we have support right around the country. It also shows us that we’re the name behind the battle and that opposition to the monorail is widely held.”

We also know New Zealand’s favourite outdoor stores and brands, as voters chose their favourites based on first hand experiences of customer service and product quality.

Macpac Equipment stole the show, winning both Online Retailer of the Year and Brand of the Year awards and coming second in the Chain Retailer of the Year award.

Chain Retailer of the Year award was won by Bivouac Outdoor and the Independent Retailer of the Year award went to Queenstown’s Small Planet Sports.

In December last year, Wilderness magazine asked readers to nominate their favourites in each of the five categories. The most popular and most compelling nominations helped whittle the numbers down to a shortlist of finalists.

Nearly 3000 people voted from this shortlist and Wilderness editor Alistair Hall says this shows how important good quality gear and service is to outdoors people. “Huge congratulations to the winners. The awards are a real badge of honour for them.

“Throughout the awards process, we discovered just how valued service and gear advice is to those who participate in outdoor activities. Invariably, the 1200 people who took part in the nomination phase of the awards cited these attributes as reasons for nominating a particular store or brand.

“That means our winners have truly established themselves as places and products of excellence. At the end of the day, this is good for consumers, who are the beneficiaries of their knowledge.

“Save Fiordland has done a good job of raising its profile, generating lots of media attention which undoubtedly helped it win the conservation initiative award. But there’s no denying the issues Save Fiordland is campaigning against are of vital interest to trampers and outdoors people who value, and like to enjoy, the natural environment in a pristine state.”

The full results are as follows:

Conservation or access initiative of the year
1st Save Fiordland
2nd Zealandia
3rd Queenstown Climbing Club

Independent retailer of the year:
1st Small Planet Sports, Queenstown
2nd Living Simply, Auckland
3rd Trek ‘n’ Travel, Hamilton

Chain retailer of the year
1st Bivouac Outdoor
2nd Macpac Equipment
3rd R&R Sports

Online retailer of the year
1st Macpac Equipment
2nd Bivouac Outdoor
3rd Torpedo7

Brand of the year
1st Macpac Equipment
2nd The North Face
3rd Earth Sea Sky

More information about the awards with comments from each of the winners is available at www.wildernessmag.co.nz - feel free to use any comments featured on the Wilderness Outdoor Awards pages.

Notes to editors:
Wilderness is a monthly magazine that was first published by Lifestyle Publishing in September 1991. It writes for trampers, walkers and mountaineers across New Zealand. It features trips to beautiful and often remote backcountry locations, as well as gear reviews, skills advice and news from the outdoors.

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