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CubaDupa Presents at National Community Awards


While most of Wellington was busy revelling in music and street theatre performances on Cuba Street this weekend, one of the CubaDupa’s founding members took the time out to share the festival’s story at the Trustpower National Community Awards, held in Rotorua from 24-26 March.

Emma Giesen took the event head to head with the country’s best and brightest volunteer groups and projects on a national stage of friendly competition, with the support of Councillor Brian Dawson.

Giesen presented to fellow Regional Supreme Winners and an independent judging panel that included Kristin Hall from TV One/Seven Sharp, Karen Smith from Volunteering New Zealand and Billie Jordan who was the winner of the Local Hero category of the 2015 New Zealander of the Year Awards.

Each of the 25 voluntary groups at the Awards took part in the judging process, with the peer voting making up 50% of the final judging score and the independent judging panel’s votes making up the other 50%. The groups were judged on five criteria: volunteer input; use of resources; initiative and creativity; effectiveness of activities; and impact on targeted audience and/or community.

Trustpower Community Relations Representative Abbie Siely says that although CubaDupa did not come away as award recipients, the scale of the Wellington spectacle was not lost on the audience.

“We felt really privileged to hear the story behind CubaDupa, and we’re grateful to have had someone as pivotal to the project as Emma, join us for the weekend while the festival was underway back in Wellington,” she says.

“Emma shared the story of how the festival came to be, and the vital role that volunteers play in ensuring a successful and seamless event. She even provided real time updates of how this year’s CubaDupa was going.”

The national competition brought together 25 groups from across 27 regions – all who were named Supreme Winners of last year’s Trustpower Community Awards, a programme run in partnership with local councils.

The Awards were announced on Saturday evening (25 March) at the 2016 Trustpower National Community Awards Dinner, held at the Blue Baths. Koha Kai, representing Invercargill Southland, was named Supreme Winner and Bay Bush Action Trust, a group representing the Far North District, was named Runner-Up. The Whetū Mātaiata Award winner was Buller High School Bollywood Group from the Buller District.


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