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Hokitika Lions makes the most of Trustpower community awards

Lions Club of Hokitika have reaped the benefits of a weekend spent amongst likeminded volunteers from around New Zealand at the Trustpower National Community Awards.

Anna Dyzel and Reilly Burden represented the group, with Mayor Bruce Smith also on hand to support the team over the weekend. These representatives took their community project head to head with the country’s best and brightest volunteer groups and projects on a national stage, full of friendly competition.

Lions Club of Hokitikacame out on top at the Trustpower Westland District Community Awards last year, which earnt them their spot at the Trustpower National Community Awards.

Trustpower Community and Communications Advisor, Abbie Siely, said although the Westland District group did not come away as award recipients, representatives Anna and Reilly came away with newfound knowledge, connections and inspiration.

“Anna and Reilly really made the most of the opportunity to share their project with others, and gain a broader knowledge of the impact of volunteering around New Zealand,” says Siely.

“In particular, they noted the contribution of Lions Clubs from around the country to a variety of projects in one way or another. It just goes to show that while each community faces different challenges and has its own needs to meet, there is always a role for organisations like Lions.”

Twenty-six groups from across New Zealand competed for the title of National Supreme Winner, in amongst a weekend of connection, collaboration and inspiration.

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The award winners were announced on Saturday evening (30 March) at an Awards Dinner, held at Mills Reef Winery.

Matipo Community Development Charitable Trust, representing Whanganui District, was named Supreme Winner, and South Catlins Charitable Trust, a group representing Invercargill City and Southland District, was named Runner-Up. The Whetū Mātaiata Award winner (the ‘rising star’ award for an up-and-coming group), went to Under the Stars from Tauranga, and the winner of the inaugural Trustpower Award was Uso Bike Ride from Porirua, representing the Wellington region.

In between a weekend of sight-seeing and networking, the Lions Club of Hokitika volunteers gave an eight-minute presentation on what the group has achieved. The groups were judged on their presentations, along with a 1,000 word summary of the organisation, by their peers and a panel of independent judges including Rhodes Scholar and 2017 runner-up in the NZ Youth Volunteer of the Year Awards, Johann Go, co-founder of Good Neighbour, Cam Hill, GM of Tauranga Women’s Refuge, Hazel Hape, previous National Supreme Winner, Bruce Knight from the Edgecumbe Volunteer Fire Brigade, Chief Executive of Volunteering NZ, Dr Katie Bruce, General Manager of Exult, Rosie Julou, Trustpower GM of Customer Operations, Fiona Smith, and Trustpower Independent Director, Richard Aitken.

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