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Civic Honours and Youth Excellence Scholarships presented

Outstanding voluntary service to the community saw 12 people and two organisations officially acknowledged at the Horowhenua Civic Honours Awards on Thursday 29 November.

The Horowhenua District Council annual event was held at Te Takeretanga o Kura-hau-pō and awards were presented by Mayor Michael Feyen and councillors.
Civic Honours awards were presented to:

• Neil Perfect – Neil Perfect has served as the president of the Horowhenua Art Society, coaching children and adults in art. He is a leader for Waitārere Beach Cubs and has worked alongside the Waitārere Beach Progressive & Ratepayers Association to install a basketball court at Waitārere Domain. Neil also provides SeniorNet classes and community drop-in sessions, helping many older people learn to use technology confidently and stay connected.

• John Brown – John Brown is a leader who seeks to foster the wellbeing of the community. He has been a member of the Lions Club for 30 years, acting as president for a time; and he has served as convenor of the Works Committee for the Levin Uniting Church since 1982. He supports the Levin monthly market and church fair, and looks after the Ever Changing Art display outside Te Takeretanga o Kura-hau-pō. John frequently goes out of his way to help others, and his warmth and generosity are well known.

• Peter and Vivien Wright – Peter and Vivien Wright have been champions of the Waitārere Beach community for over 30 years. They established a land-yacht club, and are actively involved in the Waitārere Beach Progressive & Ratepayers Association. Peter was a founding member of the Waitārere Beach Warden Group, and both Peter and Vivien help to keep the North and South Forests clean and problem-free. The pair coordinate volunteers who capture the stories of Waitārere Beach in photos and publications, and both are Justices of the Peace.

• Murray Forward – Murray Forward initiated and organised the Rotary Club of Levin’s charity house project, which raised over $100,000 for the Te Hinaki Trust. He also donated kitchen fittings and spent hundreds of hours working on the house. He is an avid supporter of local sports, mentoring young sportspeople, providing equipment and supporting trips to competitions. Murray also volunteers his time to help older people with household and garden tasks.

50 Years’ Service Award was presented to:
• Lindsay Burnell QSM – Lindsay Burnell QSM has dedicated 50 years of service to the Horowhenua AP&I Association. Lindsay has been involved in the dairy side of the Association for over 50 years, playing an invaluable role in numerous events, projects and other activities.
Mayoral Awards were presented to:
• Save Our River Trust – The Save Our River Trust (SORT) was formed in 2004 to reintroduce more water from the Manawatū River into the Foxton River Loop. Since then, it has dedicated many volunteer hours to consent applications, meetings, submission processes, planting wetlands and flax, establishing and maintaining walkways, dredging sediment and mowing. SORT is an integral member of the Foxton River Loop Working Party, working alongside Horowhenua District Council, Horizons Regional Council, iwi partners and Foxton Community Board to restore water quality, fish and bird life, and recreational opportunities to the River Loop and the people of Te Awahou.

• Anne Hunt – This award recognised Anne Hunt’s contribution to Foxton, Foxton Beach and Horowhenua. Anne has assisted the Mayor with her extensive knowledge of local government and regulatory organisations. She has worked in council as an elected member and in the judicial setting relating to iwi matters. Anne was a founding member and president of the Foxton Tourist and Development Association, and founding member and chairperson of Tourism Horowhenua. Anne has chaired many community organisations, including Horowhenua Adult Literacy and Horowhenua District Ratepayers and Residents Association, and has served as vice president for Foxton Surf Lifesaving Club and Foxton RSA.

• Vivienne Taueki – Vivienne Taueki has provided advice and support to the Mayor on many matters, including employment, iwi land, Māori Land Court processes, hemp, and the history of Horowhenua. Vivienne is an active member of the Muaūpoko Cooperative Society, working to maintain ancestral lands and waterways. She has spent many hours researching and identifying sites of significance to Māori, wāhi tapu and Muaūpoko taonga, and she is a committed advocate for Lake Horowhenua. Vivienne’s volunteer work includes resource consent matters, maintaining trust properties and organising an annual children’s Christmas hui.

Certificates of Recognition were awarded to:
• Radio Reading Service – The Radio Reading Service is a not-for-profit organisation that has delivered news, information and entertainment for the sight-impaired community in Levin since 1985. The service depends on its volunteer readers and studio operators. Volunteers Kathryn Taylor, Enid Lowe, Sue Eckworth and Hazel Luckstedt have 80 years’ service to the radio station between them. Without them, the Radio Reading Service would have closed down earlier this year after NZ on Air withdrew its financial support.

• Bob and Jan Saunders – Bob and Jan Saunders have dedicated countless time and energy to promoting Foxton. They have spent many years volunteering for Foxton’s MAVtech Museum. They have also been heavily involved in the Foxton Town and Development Association, where Bob was president and Jan a trustee for many years. Bob and Jan have been tireless supporters of the Spring Fling and Christmas parades. Both have volunteered as parent tutors at Foxton Primary School, and were awarded life memberships of the Foxton Horse Drawn Society in appreciation of their services.

• Linda Sherlock – Linda Sherlock has been a teacher, mentor and supporter to young people. She joined Waiopehu College in 1990 and has served as assistant principal and deputy principal. She has been the driving force behind the Waiopehu College Poly Group, supervising rehearsals on weeknights and weekends, providing transport and food for students, and sewing performance outfits. Linda also played a key role in establishing academic mentoring to help students learn Pacific Island languages and ensuring a culturally response approach to education. She has also supported Fale Pasifika Horowhenua to ensure the success of the Pasifika Youth Jandal Jam.

• Charles Rudd – Charles Rudd has been a strong voice for the environment for many years. He has contributed a great deal to discussions on protecting biodiversity, caring for our waterways, managing waste, improving air quality and protecting our coasts.

In addition to the Civic Honours Awards, the Council’s 2018 Horowhenua Youth Excellence Scholarships were presented to 12 young people.
These acknowledge excellence in academic subjects, arts and culture, community service, and sport, by young people aged between 12 and 24.
The $250 scholarships primarily acknowledge excellence, but also provide a small financial contribution and encourage local youth to strive to achieve their goals and dreams.
Horowhenua Youth Excellence Scholarships recipients:
• Antonio Matua So’oalo (arts and culture)
• Shavaun Tohill (arts and culture)
• Sina Crichton (arts and culture)
• Jessika Tuhou (community service)
• Meghan Davenport (community service)
• Nikki Su (academia)
• Zoe Carline (academia)
• Anna Taylor (academia)
• Shelby Wells (sport)
• Miniah Summerall (sport)
• Connor Mitchell (sport)
• Shae Gray (sport)


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