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Gibbston Nominated for 2011 Community of the Year Award

Gibbston Nominated for Prestigious 2011 Community of the Year Award

The Gibbston Community Association’s profile has increased nationally with the recent launch of the $1.4m Gibbston River Trail and the organisation has been nominated for the 2011 Community of the Year Award, part of the prominent New Zealander of the Year Awards.

The Central Otago community of Gibbston is competing against Great Barrier Island’s Aotea Family Support Group and the Christchurch Charity Hospital for the award.

Gibbston Community Association chairman Susan Stevens says the group is overwhelmed with the nomination.

“We have worked extremely hard over the past six years to create the river trail which we launched on December 4 this year. But as a community we have also provided a number of other amenities which have caught the eye of organisers behind the community awards scheme.”

These projects include a highway rest area, a landscaped community reserve with cricket oval and children’s orchard, a community rubbish and recycling depot, car parking, picnic and toilet facilities at an original gold mining settlement and orchard and interpretive signage at the historic Rum Currie’s hut on the banks of the Kawarau River.

Ms Stevens says it is an honour for Gibbston to be included alongside the other finalists who have also made significant contributions in their communities.

“It is thanks to the support of so many people that we have been singled out as one of the three nominations for the national award and we are very excited that Gibbston is being considered in this league.”

The Community of the Year Award acknowledges groups and organisations working together to build better communities. They are selected because of their strong sense of community spirit which plays a vital role in enhancing the social, economic, cultural or environmental prosperity of their region.

The Gibbston Community Association is recognised for revitalising the small rural area, which had been largely decimated in the 1970s, through its range of initiatives but particularly the Gibbston River Trail which will provide economic benefits to the whole district.

“The sheer determination of a small community such as Gibbston to create a solution of such enormity is a magnificent achievement,” says the Community Awards panel.

The New Zealander of the Year Awards will be presented by the Patron, the Right Hon Jim Bolger at a gala function in Auckland on February 2 2011.


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