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HNZ garden awards national winners announced

2003 Housing New Zealand Corporation garden awards national winners announced

Housing Minister Steve Maharey announced the national winners of Housing New Zealand Corporation’s 2003 Garden Awards today.

Housing New Zealand Corporation (HNZC) ran the national Garden Awards competition for the first time this year. The competition encourages state house tenants to establish and maintain their own sections and gardens.

More than 1600 entries were received, about twice the number expected.

Steve Maharey announced the winners while visiting Whangarei tenant Mereana Ruka, who won the best Edible/Practical Garden section of the awards.

“Mereana has created a wonderful vegetable garden at her state house. The work she has put in and the value she gets from her garden is very impressive.

“A large number of the entries received were of outstanding quality – the effort, creativity and workmanship was quite remarkable. HNZC has received many thanks from tenants for the opportunity to enter a competition aimed specifically at low-income families.

“The entries showed the competition provided enjoyment and a real benefit for tenants. Gardening is a great activity for all ages and abilities. Not only does gardening offer many physical, health and financial benefits, but it is good for the environment as well.

“My congratulations go to all those who have taken part,” Steve Maharey said.

The competition was divided into four categories – Open, Small space, Edible/Practical and Children’s.

Entries were based on photographs of tenants’ gardens and were first judged at a local level, with the top entries going forward to a national competition. In all, there were 218 prizewinners across the categories.

Photos of the entries will be displayed in HNZC office reception areas around the country. HNZC will review these first national awards and intends running a nationwide gardening competition every two years in the future.

Sam Pease, Communications Manager, Housing New Zealand Corporation, (09) 262 5986 or (021) 446 886, e-mail: sam.pease@hnzc.co.nz.

National Winners: Best Open Garden: Kathleen Limbrick, Blockhouse Bay, Auckland Best Edible/Practical Garden: Mereana Ruka, Whangarei Best Small Space Garden: Margaret Nicholson, Glen Innes, Auckland Best Children’s Garden: Amber Te Huki, Foxton

National Commendations: Open Garden: Colleen Griffiths, Lower Hutt Edible/Practical Garden: Matthew Dwe, North Shore, Auckland Small Space Garden: Janice Ann Hodgson, Spreydon, Christchurch Children’s Garden: Haylee Opetaia, New Lynn, Auckland Special Commendation: Mary Winter, Whangarei

A list of all national and local award winners is being published in the Winter edition of Close to Home, HNZC’s tenant newsletter, which is due to arrive in tenant’s letterboxes by next Friday (June 6).

Photo opportunity Steve Maharey is visiting Mereana Ruka, 53 Raewyn St, Morningside, Whangarei, tomorrow (Thursday, 29 May 2003) at 1.45pm to present her with her award and prize. Media are invited to accompany him.

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