Locals acknowledged for voluntary community work



1 June 2016

Above: Recipients of this year's 2016 Rotorua Lakes Council Community Awards and Trustpower Rotorua Lakes Community Awards with Mayor Steve Chadwick (centre), Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell (front at far left) and Trustpower's GM business solutions and technology Simon Clarke (back row, second from left). Awards photos here

Five locals have been acknowledged in this year’s Rotorua Lakes Council Community Awards and local youth and groups received Trustpower Rotorua Lakes Community Awards at a joint celebration i tonight.

Presenting the council awards at the function at the Sir Howard Morrison Performing Arts Centre, Mayor Steve Chadwick said it was an important occasion as it was an opportunity to acknowledge outstanding contributions to the community by individuals and groups.

"You are all outstanding - you are the glue that holds us together as a community," the mayor said.

She presented the Rotorua Lakes Council Community Awards, which are for individuals, while the Trustpower Rotorua Lakes Community Awards acknowledge groups.

Criteria for the Rotorua Lakes Council Community Awards, which started in 1990, is at least 15 years of dedicated voluntary service to a particular community sector and/or achieving at a national or international level.

Five individuals received council awards last night – Garry Adlam, Noel Hyde, Jill Walker, Ann Clausen and Kishor Patel.

About the recipients:

Garry Adlam is the man who ensures the successful operation of the Rotary Charity Market run every Saturday in Kuirau Park.

Owned and operated by the Rotorua Club of Rotorua North, the market raises funds for the club’s charitable work and has been operating since 1988. Garry became involved in 1997 and oversees the market’s operation.

While still running a drainlaying business, Garry dedicates many hours to the market, liaising with Rotorua Lakes Council and dealing with stallholders and any inquiries or issues that arise.

At the market most Saturdays to ensure things run smoothly, he is passionate about the project and always looking for ways to make it better.

Noel Hyde is one of Rotorua’s unsung conservation hero.

He moved to Rotorua from Wellington to help set up the Wingspan National Bird of Prey Centre and is recognised both nationally and internationally for his contribution to bird conservation, research and scientific taxidermy.

With 40 years’ experience, Noel is one of New Zealand’s first research museum preparators and has completed more than 3000 specimens. He is also a recognised expert in feather identification and  has completed research and education taxidermy projects for Te Papa and other museums around the country as well as for the Department of Conservation, Kelly Tarlton’s and Wingspan.

Noel is also a published author and co-author of academic research papers and has represented Wingspan and New Zealand internationally in terms of raptor research and falconry.

Jill Walker has contributed to positive outcomes for Rotorua children since the 1980s through her many years of work in the performing and creative arts.

An accomplished artist and performer, she started working with children because after attending a number of community events she realised children attending were not really catered for.

Jill has worked with youth in high schools and worked on theatre and art projects on marae and has been involved in Children’s Day celebrations in Rotorua for more than 20 years.

She runs regular projects using children’s art, runs art in schools projects and in the past two years has run poppy-making workshops for Anzac Day commemorations in Rotorua.

Ann Clausen has dedicated her life to volunteering and has been involved in a number of organisations for many years.

While her husband Peter was in hospital for treatment for leukaemia she helped support other patients and their carers and in 1998 after Peter died, she and Marie Steiner set up a support group for leukaemia patients and their carers. The group is still going today and Ann still attends meetings and helps with patient support and fundraising. 

Ann was involved with Victim Support for seven years and was on the Relay for Life committee for four years. She is still involved with the Cancer Society, Make-A-Wish New Zealand, Operation Xmas Child (for Fiji) and with the Rotorua Baptist Church Meet ‘n Eat group.

The Fiji project involves collecting gifts for children and Ann has travelled to the island nation to deliver these. She has been involved in helping to grant 53 special wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions through Make-A-Wish and is a valued volunteer in Rotorua’s chemotherapy unit and for the Cancer Society’s Daffodil Day.

Kishor Patel is a much loved member of the Reporoa community where the married father of four is the owner and operator of the Reporoa Food Market grocery store.

He and his family operate the business seven days a week and they are passionate supporters of their local rural community.

Kindly donating food to individuals and families in need or affected by illness, Kishor is also a keen sponsor of local rugby and netball teams.

Judging panel:

Cr Charles Sturt
Cr Merepeka Raukawa-Tait
Phill Thomass (Lakes Community Board)
Paul Hickey (The Hits)
Emily Beaton (TrustPower)
Shanayla Barrett (Youth Councillor)

2016 Trustpower Rotorua Lakes Community Awards – citations


Youth Spirit category

Finalist: Chantelle Cobby, Rotorua Girls High School
Chanetelle is a caring and determined young lady, a Year 13 Prefect and Deputy Head Girl at her school which has seen her involved in facilitating the peer support programme with the Year 9 students. Her willingness to volunteer has seen her be the leader in the Once Chance Youth Project, organising a very successful Anzac Kite Day which saw her win a Youth Week Anzac Award for her participation. She has also volunteered at Canteen and Heart Jud’s events, Stage Challenge, J Rock and she has coached a junior soccer team as well as being involved in Girl Guides for 13 years.

Chantelle is a member of the school Health Council where she has run charity fundraisers such as Pink Breakfasts and the 40 hour famine.

She has also been an enthusiastic member of the school enrolment team promoting Rotorua Girls High School and she is currently a member of the Junior Chamber of Commerce and represents Todd McLay as his youth member of Parliament.

Chantelle is an excellent ambassador for her school and Rotorua.

Finalist: Sam Bocock, Rotorua Boys High School
Sam has made a major contribution both within and beyond Rotorua Boys’ High School during his time there. He is the elected Sports Captain which is not surprising as sport is his true passion.

He is the coach and a player of the school’s water polo team and is responsible for all organisation involved with the team. For the last four years Sam has also been the coach and manager of the Mokoia Intermediate Water Polo team, regularly giving hours of his time on a weekly bases over the summer months to support his former school. He also coaches Mokoia’s hockey team, devoting the same number of hours during the winter months to the task.

Within the school community Sam works tirelessly to support others. He has assisted with school events such as parent evenings, school assemblies, Year 9 camps, peer mentoring and a range of Prefect responsibilities.

Sam has an exceptional work ethic and despite his impressive array of personal commitments, he supports others and gives back to both the school community and wider community. Sam is doing an incredible job and is very deserving of this recognition.

Finalist: Savanna Steele, Rotorua Lakes High School
For the past 5 years Savanna has been involved with many sports and activities within her school and the community. She has made a huge dedication to umpiring Netball, umpiring many different teams, all different ages and skill levels and at many different tournaments. She has umpired for Lynmore Primary, Mokoia Intermediate and Rotorua Lakes High School as well as at both UNISS and AIMS tournaments.

It’s not just Netball though, during her time at Rotorua Lakes High School, Savanna has had the opportunity to play for her school and the Bay of Plenty in both Touch and Rugby and in 2014 she was chosen to represent NZ Maori in Touch in an U16 team at a tournament in the Gold Coast Australia where her team won the tournament.

Outside school hours and when she’s not playing sport or umpiring it she volunteers at the SPCA for several hours a week at the local Rotorua Centre. She also spends two to three hours a week assisting at the Rotorua Stroke Foundation.

Savanna is an incredible young lady with a bright future ahead of her.

Winner: Hyesu Yang, John Paul College Rotorua
The Winner of the 2016 Trustpower Youth Community Spirit Award and is an exceptional young lady from John Paul College.

Hyesu is a busy young lady who wishes to give back to the community that made her and her family feel so welcome when they moved from South Korea eleven years ago.

She feels passionate about helping others reach their full potential, especially those who are not as fortunate as her. For that reason she has made sure that she is an active member of the community, contributing where she can to make even a small difference.

She is a member of the Fulfil Van which is an organisation that provides food and drink for the lower socioeconomic areas of Rotorua, she is a member of the Sunset Primary and Malfroy Primary Breakfast Programme, which is a voluntary group that offers children breakfast.

She is a member of the Interact Club at her school which is a group that raises money for different foundations through events such as the Everest Movie fundraiser which raised money for students affected by the Nepal earthquake.

Hyesu is an academic mentor at her school, meeting with her assigned junior buddy on Monday lunchtimes to help with any work that they are struggling with, she is also a Homework club tutor where she helps tutors students after school on Wednesdays.

As a member of the Rotorua Youth Council she has helped out with various community events and she is also a Senior Youth Ambassador of Rotorua Youth Voice.

This is just a snapshot of the busy life that Hyesu leads – she is an incredible role model for her peers.

Heritage and Environment

Runner up: Wingspan National Bird of Prey Centre
Volunteers are hugely important to this group in its work to restore New Zealand’s birds of prey into our daily lives.

It is only though the donation of these special people’s time that Wingspan will achieve the ultimate goal of restoring New Zealand’s birds of prey into our everyday lives. They are achieving this goal through a number of initiatives like their ‘Under the Wing’ education programme that aims to unlock curious minds, in partnership with the Rotorua Museum.

This science based initiative was available to local intermediate students to engage and excite them in conservation and it is just one of many programmes that are educating the wider community.

Volunteers at Wingspan undertake a whole heap of activities, from meeting and greeting visitors to the centre, to helping with aviary cleaning and grounds maintenance.

While Wingspan is a conservation project, it remains a ‘people’ project, promoting community engagement through passionate staff and volunteers.

Winner: Rotorua Museum B Company Research volunteers
The judges were extremely proud of this group and commented that their project is something that the whole community can be proud of.

This tight knit group of volunteers contributed over 500 hours to review seven years of microfiche issues of the Rotorua Morning Post, 1939 to 1946, searching for any references to members of B Company and their whanau. They copied and referenced items reported to create a significant resource for use by the B Company 28 New Zealand (Maori) Battalion History Trust, the general public and for a comprehensive publication on the history of B Company.

As these files were not digitised it was necessary for the volunteers to read through each paper on microfiche to identify articles about the members of B Company, their activities overseas and their experiences upon returning home.

For most volunteers this has been a steep learning curve to use unfamiliar microfiche technology and successfully image and store old newspaper files to a level of readability suitable for future use.
The success of the research project is event, in just four months around 2,500 relevant articles were located and referenced creating a wealth of material for use.

These volunteers have done an incredible job at acknowledging these stories and this history.

Health and Wellbeing

Commendation: Ngongataha Volunteer Fire Brigade
This fully volunteer run organisation has the primary role of attending fire events ranging from residential, industrial and commercial structure fires and rural scrub/bush fires but they do so much more. They also respond to motor vehicle accidents, hazardous substance incidents and natural disaster events in and around the community and work alongside St John to attend first response lifesaving medical callouts.

On the non-emergency side they are heavily involved in education, you will see these guys visiting individual homes to provide Home Safety Checks, and you will see them out and about at community functions providing an array of educational resources and presentation sessions to further promote live practical learning tools for all cultures within the community.

All of these roles are carried out by community volunteers and even though they may be seen as just the fire service, please remember that they do so much more and are always going the extra mile to serve their community and to ensure that they are protected and educated.

Runner up: Love Soup Rotorua
This group of volunteers are feeding some of this community’s most vulnerable members.

There are ten volunteers behind this community based meal program, providing a much needed service for the rough sleepers and homeless. Their activities include providing evening meals seven nights per week as well as breakfast two mornings per week. But it doesn’t stop there, the meal times create a space for trusting relationships to be built which leads onto working towards acquiring accommodation.

With this comes additional support in the way of understanding tenancy agreements, budgeting, how to shop and cook, among other life skills. They provide clothing and fully furnish their homes of the newly housed rough sleepers. Once housed they provide ongoing support to ensure the accommodation remains sustainable.

In the last six months of last year, they housed 31 people and since January 2016 they have housed a further 17 people and counting. This is an incredible service and we thank-you and your team with the big hearts who turn up every week.

Winner: The Parenting Place
Enhancing the lives of families and young people is the objective for The Parenting Place and they are doing a great job at it.

Every child deserves the chance to thrive, belong and achieve but not every child gets that opportunity. The Parenting Place encourages and strengthen parenting through programmes that make a difference and are fun, accessible and inspiring.

By providing skills, resources and positive support through a six session small group parenting programme known as Toolbox, parents are less likely to resort to desperate or neglectful practices that harm children. In 2015 29 Toolbox Parenting Courses were run in Rotorua, which benefitted 181 Rotorua parents and their families. The six sessions provide parenting education in a relaxed, informal, small group setting, filled with expert advice, humour and empowering strategies, with the overall goal of making parenting a really positive experience.

The trained volunteer facilitators lead discussions and exercises based on either short video clips or material from the extensive manual, but the parents appreciate that the volunteer facilitators are on the same journey as them, not as an expert, but as a fellow traveller.

Participants receive a ‘toolbox’ of ideas to build a happy home, develop co-operative children and to creatively handle the inevitable challenges of parenting. They have a recipe that works and are really making a huge difference in their community.

Arts and Culture

Runner up: Friends of the Rotorua District Library
The group was formed in 1991 and since then has continued to run a very successful book sale. To date, they have raised thousands of dollars for the Rotorua District Library which has been used to support children’s and teens holiday programmes, visiting authors and guest speakers, the provision of speciality services such as Media net NZ Film Archive Access, an audio/visual system, furniture, crockery and appliances for the Meeting Rooms, library shelving and competition prizes.

They also support the library with manpower whenever asked for tasks such as catering, moving, labelling or packaging.

These volunteers don’t do it for the recognition, they do it for the families who find it difficult to dispose of their long held books and instead of just throwing these precious books away, they use them to raise funds for the betterment of their community.

A simple idea that is very well executed thanks to the passion and dedication of these volunteers.

Winner: Reporoa Roundabout Folders Group
The health of a community is largely reliant on its communication within a community. To this end, a local business creates and produces a community newspaper twice a month. It is done on a purely cost recovery basis so that it is accessible to all sectors of the community. The Reporoa Roundabout Folders Group’s part in all of this happens once the newspaper bulletin is printed and they meet to manually collate the pages, which can be up to 14 A3 pages, and fold them into the bulletin that gets delivered free of charge to every household in the Reporoa community. One thousand copies are produced each time.

If this group didn’t exist, their part of the production would have to be done commercially by a machine in one of their neighbouring towns which would make it uneconomical to continue.

The folders group meet twice a month to fold the newspaper yes, but these Mums, Dads, Nanas, Grandads, even college students and primary school students when it’s holidays, keep coming back to volunteer because it is a place full of laughter and jokes and exchanging recipes.

The older volunteers pass their knowledge, ideas, understanding, caring and forgiving onto the younger volunteers and it has become a place that the community go to feel connected and spend time with one another.

Sports and Leisure

Runner up: All About Me – Rhodesia Fit
This is a tight knit and extremely passionate health and fitness group all about “whanau training whanau” and encourages a healthy lifestyle regardless of age, culture, gender, social status, or financial situation. Their motto is ‘no excuses’ and support and encouragement is offered to show that a gym facility is not a requirement.

They train outside rain, hail or shine, with no equipment and with all of their children. Everything that is encouraged at All About Me – Rhodesia Fit is expected to be shared out to others, creating a ripple effect and ideally reaching all corners of the community.

As part of the healthy lifestyle, community involvement is encouraged, which is why they participate in a number of community events. Every year they participate in the Burpee Challenge, where participants push their physical and mental strengths in support of the Christmas Food drive.
When they learned two members had been affected by cancer they and their families organised a fundraiser – a 24 hour workout.

Trainings are held four times per week two times a day at the cost of a gold coin donation. Initially this was used to help purchase training equipment but as time has progressed 95% of donations have gone towards fundraisers for difference causes.

This group is teaching our community incredible life skills and has a lot of fun along the way.

Winner: Rotorua Group Challenge
Rotorua Group Challenge is a free 12-week weight loss programme that trains two nights a week with an organised group run through the Waipa forest, all in a bid to get more people active, healthy and living better lives.

This has an extensive flow on effect to members and their families with each challenge including organised family walking events, nutritional advice and community involvement.

All of the planning, promoting, organising and facilitating the training for 200+ people, two times a week for 12 weeks is done voluntarily.

In 2015 they ran four 12 week challenges which involves registration day with weigh in and measurements, 24 1 hour training sessions, 12 weekend runs and family walks and the final weigh in and prizegiving.

It costs $20 to register for this challenge, but the money is pooled together as a prize for the person with the highest weight loss percentage.

The Group Challenge also gets people taking part in their first sporting events such as the tough guy and girl challenge, or the Rotorua Marathon. Members get stuck in with other community sporting events by volunteering to marshal at events such as Cranworx, Wembo 24 MTB, and the Copthorne off-road marathon. This is a community initiative that is creating healthier families.

Education and Child Youth Development

Runner up: Rotorua Pacific Island Development Charitable Trust
This group of volunteers aims to help their community achieve success in education, health, economic, and culture. Their goal is a long and challenging one, but they have seen improvements, specifically in education, health and employment opportunities.

Over the last 12 months they have established a Pacific Early Learning Centre, which was developed as a result of a Pacific survey carried out in 2011 that identified education was the first priority for increasing Pacific participation. Funding was approved for the renovation of a classroom at Sunset Primary School and a partnership between the school and the Trust was formed. Volunteers have worked tirelessly to see the first ever Pacifica Early Learning Centre in the Midland and Bay of Plenty region established. Volunteer trustees worked during weekends and public holidays to help renovate the classrooms and clean up after the builders.

This is just one of the projects that the trust has been involved in over the last 12 months, but it is a great insight into how much they value they place on education.

Category winner and Supreme Winner: Te Waiariki Purea Trust
The Trust runs the Ira Matatau Active Citizenship Rangatahi Leadership group which focuses on working with rangatahi aged 12 to 24 years old. They engage and motivate rangatahi to be actively participating and volunteering in quality community activities, planning and event management and leadership programmes.

They have rangatahi out in the community doing it all. They’re leading Whanau Days, supervising sports activities, dressing up and posing for pictures with tamariki and act as field maintenance crew at sports events.
They are a part of a huge amount in the community, but a highlight of their programme is the IM ReaL Breakaway Holiday Programme. This programme enables young people, juniors and seniors who normally wouldn’t have access to holiday programmes to enjoy activities such as swimming, movies, ten pin bowling, hikoi up Maunga, waka ama, team building, leadership and amazing races amongst many other fun and engaging activities.

Rangatahi volunteer to be leaders and plan the entire 3 day holiday programme, from the activity programme for juniors and seniors, booking venues, organising food, organising transport, making sure health and safety procedures are followed, setting the budget, and making sure there is enough adult supervision for the programme.

They are identifying pathways for youth to get involved and breaking down barriers by providing them with the resources to allow them to get on and do it and doing a fantastic job, working hard to make their community a better place.

Page reviewed: 01 Jun 2016 7:00pm