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Green Ribbon Environment Awards

, 5 June 2001

Green Ribbon Environment Awards

Environment Minister, Marian Hobbs, has announced the winners of the 2001 Green Ribbon Awards. The awards will be presented today (5 June) in Wellington to mark World Environment Day.

"I am delighted to be able to recognise the outstanding achievements of individual citizens, businesses, councils and others to sustain and improve our environment," Marian Hobbs said. "With 117 nominations this year in seven categories, it has been a very difficult process to select winners.

"Most New Zealanders want clean water and air and many think our clean, green image is a myth. But there are not so many who pitch in to make a difference the way our Green Ribbon Award nominees do. It is encouraging and inspiring to see the efforts put in by all the people and organisations nominated for the Awards."

The winners of the Green Ribbon Awards are:

Caring for our rural environment
- Seresin Estate, Renwick, Marlborough, for a wide range of environmental management initiatives on its 44 hectare vineyard and 10 hectare olive grove

Caring for our urban environment
- The New Zealand Ecological Restoration Network, Christchurch, for the establishment of a network to share experience and resources in native habitat restoration.

Business caring for the environment
- Orion New Zealand Limited, Christchurch, for its Demand Side Management Project to control and limit the growth of maximum demand for electricity by promoting energy efficiency and other measures.

Caring for our biodiversity
- Russell Langdon, Ashburton, for the development of the Hawthorn Wood Wild Fowl and Wetland Reserve and a captive breeding programme for endangered waterfowl.

State of the Environment Reporting (two awards)
- Waikato State of the Environment Report 1998, Environment Waikato, Hamilton
- Our City’s Environment 2000. Palmerston North City Council, Palmerston North.

Raising awareness of the environment
- Dean Williams (Green Dean), Auckland, for the “Green Desk” programme on environmental issues on 95bFM radio.

Kids who care – youth award
- Paparore School, Awanui (Far North), for its efforts to replant five hectares of land in native trees and other environmental activities.

The Minister for the Environment also made special mention of three strong nominations which are achieving excellent results:
- The Waitakere Ranges Protection Society, Waitakere City
- 0800 Smokey campaign, Auckland Regional Council
- Waicare stream monitoring and action programme, Auckland.

(Background on winners follows)


Further information about the winners

Seresin Estate, Renwick, Marlborough
Seresin Estate is a 44 hectare vineyard and 10 hectare olive grove that is organically managed and has had transitional Bio-Gro status since 1997/98. Seresin Estate concentrates on improving soil health, including mulching under vines and suppressing weeds with compost. Other species are planted between vine rows to encourage insect species that parasitise pests. Canopy management is the first line of defence against disease. The winery waste water is used for irrigation, prunings are mulched, and olive and native plants are used on banks to minimise erosion. The company has established a worm farm to compost staff lunchroom waste. Paper and cardboard waste is recycled or used as mulch.

The New Zealand Ecological Restoration Network, Christchurch
The New Zealand Ecological Restoration Network was set up as a collaborative effort by established Canterbury organisations to share experience and resources in native habitat restoration. The Addington Bush Society, which started with a group of eight Addington families who joined their backyards to plant native trees and shrubs, provided the initial management for the Network. Using his own PC, Addington Bush Society founder Mike Peters developed links to other small community groups nationally and set up the Network. The Network relies heavily on volunteers, with any financial resources being used for equipment and scientific advice. There are now 143 member organisations and 50 volunteer staff in the Network.

Orion New Zealand Limited, Christchurch
Orion New Zealand owns and operates the electricity network between the Waimakariri and Rakaia Rivers in Canterbury. In 1990 it began an intensive Demand Side Management Project to try to control and limit the growth of maximum demand for electricity and therefore, electricity infrastructure. This was achieved by promoting energy efficiency to customers, including free home energy advisory services, “time of use” pricing mechanisms that encouraged off-peak use, direct load management, and other measures. Orion’s efforts have restricted the annual growth in maximum demand to 0.7%. As a consequence, the distribution system’s performance has been improved, as has the region’s energy efficiency, and energy costs to customers have decreased. The need for new infrastructure has been delayed, so reducing both resource use and visual pollution.

Russell Langdon, Ashburton
Russell Langdon is a third-generation mid-Canterbury farmer who dedicates much of his land and time to creating habitats for birds. He was responsible for the development of the Hawthorn Wood Wild Fowl and Wetland Reserve at Lagmhor. This project was started 12 years ago when three hectares of ponds were created. Hundreds of native trees have been planted. The area has been developed into a wetland used for a captive breeding programme for endangered waterfowl. Mr Langdon has acquired considerable knowledge about the breeding of exotic and native birds, including blue duck, brown teal, banded rail and kereru.

Waikato State of the Environment Report 1998
Environment Waikato, Hamilton
This is Environment Waikato’s first State of the Environment Report, and so sets a baseline for information about the regional environment. The regional council will prepare a State of the Environment Report every five years to provide information about the quality of the environment in the Waikato Region. Environment Waikato’s report is clear, easily read and understood, with a good mix of relevant graphs, tables, and photographs.

The report indicates the Council’s commitment to ongoing monitoring, and to providing recommendations for change based upon the environmental monitoring information. Unlike most other councils, Environment Waikato has produced a variety of other products with different levels of detail to help the community understand the findings of the State of the Environment Report.

Our City’s Environment 2000 – The State of Environment Report.
Palmerston North City Council, Palmerston North
This is Palmerton North City Council’s second State of the Environment Report, five years on from the first published in 1995. The Council will prepare a comprehensive state of the environment report every five years to measure changing environmental conditions in the City. As with Environment Waikato’s report, Palmerston North City Council’s report stood out from others primarily because it was clear, easily read and understood, with a good mix of relevant graphs, tables, and photographs.

Dean Williams (Green Dean), Auckland
Dean Williams took over the “Green Desk”, a long-running environmental issues slot on 95bFM radio in 1998. Since then Dean has moulded the show into a specialist environmental slot, giving the subject of “the environment” an urgency, freshness and humour suited to the young urban Auckland population. His journalistic skills are applied to investigating the issues and asking the hard questions of all participants on his show, in order to present balanced and effective reporting. Dean’s hugely popular show manages to engage the interest of urban Aucklanders in environmental issues of local, national, and international importance. He teaches his listeners that there are small and significant things individuals, communities, and businesses can do to improve the state of the environment.

Paparore School, Awanui (Far North)
Paparore School is a small school of 69 students which has strong ties with its community. It has leased from the Department of Conservation five hectares of land that border a recreational lake so that the school can replant an area once abundant in native trees. The students, staff and parents have planted about 8000 trees so far and plan to add another 1000 this year. The school also does a road clean-up four times a year, with local business support, and is active in the “Slash Trash Campaign”, a local initiative aiming for zero waste. It has a “recycling station” and a worm farm for food waste. Paparore School is taking a strong leadership role in the community while instilling a sense of environmental responsibility into its pupils.


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