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The Helpers’ High

The helpers’ high is part of what creates the continuum of serving our community.

These were the wise words of guest speaker Trish Coleman at yesterday’s Community Awards Evening which were celebrated at the Waipara Hall.

“What drives us to volunteer?” she rhetorically asked the audience. “Volunteering is good for the world, and beneficial for wellbeing.”

This is an annual event to collectively recognise and thank those members of the Hurunui District who put their time, enthusiasm and expertise into doing their bit for people and the environment.

The Evening encompassed the Community Service Awards, the Youth Awards, and the MainPower Hurunui Environment Fund announcement.

Mayor Marie Black was once again humbled by the often unspoken work that goes on within the communities.

“How lucky we are that we have community groups and individuals that tirelessly work together to bring benefit to our District.”

The six recipients for the Community Service Award were Michelle Forbes for Amuri, David Moore for Amberley, David Anderson for Cheviot, Terry Donaldson for Glenmark, Annie Truman and John Dawber for Hanmer Springs, and Keith Yorston for Hurunui.

“Volunteering, it’s so much fun,” said Michelle Forbes with a broad smile as she received her award.

The Youth Awards’ two recipients were William Munsey for the Youth Volunteer Award, and Rebecca Pugh for the Volunteering For Youth award. Rebecca is Youth Development Coordinator at Hurunui District Council.

The Mayor’s Outstanding Youth Leadership Award went to Nic Crump, who joined Hurunui Youth Programme in 2020 which has sowed the seed for an exciting future, including attending the Pacific Leadership Programme later this year in the Cook Islands.

Youth Development Officer at Hurunui District Council Ward Shearman expressed how proud he was of the youth representation, and the winners being so deserving of their acknowledgment.

“These accolades are so well earned, so well deserved, it’s a reflection of the hard work they have put in. I’m constantly in awe of what the youth of Hurunui achieve.”

The MainPower Hurunui Environment Fund champions those who encourage and assist with voluntary work that benefits the natural environment. The focus is on work that protects, restores or reinstates indigenous biodiversity in the Hurunui District.

This year it has been shared amongst five candidates; Hawarden Reserve Advisory Group, Leithfield Beach Residents’ Association, Mt Lyford Alpine Accommodation Ltd, Lottery Bush Conservation Group, and Port Robinson Advisory Group.

MainPower has supported this award since 2003, and General Manager – Safety and Business Risk for MainPower New Zealand Ltd Karen Cameron said it was great to see the biological diversity that is being embraced in Hurunui District, with plenty of initiatives around native tree planting happening.

She said planting natives is a great start, but there are certainly opportunities to look wider.

“We encourage protecting habitats and fauna, and safeguarding ecosystems. It’s about pooling resources and seeing bigger projects across the District.”

All this comes down to the continuation of the sharing of knowledge, and building community confidence.

“You only know what you know, it’s all about building awareness and working towards a bigger picture.”

Department of Conservation - Te Papa Atawhai Operations Manager in the Rangiora Office Kingsley Timpson was on the judging panel for the Environment Fund, and said these projects stimulate interest and learning between communities and individuals across the District, which is great.

“There is potential to do so much more. I encourage people to have a crack at it, sometimes it’s just seeding money that is needed, to pull likeminded people together.”



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