Wellington Scoop
Network

38 local heroes honoured at Kiwibank awards

local-heroes
Back row L to R: Justine Hamill, Pera Barrett, Ruth McDavitt, Ken Allen, Phil Waddington, Dr Bill Glass, Sam Polwart (Palmerston North Recipient), Jason Osborne, Jeff Sanders, Poppy Norton, Vhari McWha, Holly Norton
Middle row L to R: Jase Te Patu, Pani (Jim) Watene, Julie Ann Kamal, Garth Baker, Brenda Strauchon, Karyn Williams, Tracey Mansfield, Rebecca Morahan, Sarah Field, Paula Warren, Tony Gaeta
Front row L to R: Gaylene Preston, Bill Sharp, Tamara Olliver, Peter McLaren, Marianne Bishop, Shannan Wong, Johanna Cosgrove, Brittany Cosgrove, Injy Johnstone

News from KiwiBank
Everyday people doing exceptional things were honoured last night as Wellington’s “Local Heroes” at the annual Kiwibank Local Hero Awards. As part of the 2019 New Zealander of the Year Awards, the 38 Kiwibank Local Heroes were presented with specially made medals to officially recognise their achievements at a ceremony held at Parliament.

Wellington City Deputy Mayor Jill Day and Porirua Mayor Mike Tana attended the ceremony to present the medals and congratulate the recipients.

“Our region’s 38 local heroes demonstrate the acts of charity, commitment and selflessness which is what holds a community together. Many of these individuals are inspiring members of our community who have all uniquely touched the lives of others,” said Day.

“The awards continue to be the perfect opportunity for our community to acknowledge these people and their efforts in making Wellington a better place to live,” said Tana.

The Kiwibank Local Heroes for Wellington were:

Bill Sharp (Hutt City)
Pera Barrett (Hutt City)
Tracey Mansfield (Hutt City)
Karyn Williams (Hutt City)
Phil Waddington (Wellington)
Dr Bill (William) Glass (Wellington)
Rebecca Morahan (Plimmerton)
Elizabeth Sneyd QSM (Tawa)
Pani (Jim) Watene (Hutt City)
Craig Utting QSM (Tawa)
Tony Gaeta (Berhampore)
Gaylene Preston (Wellington)
Jason Osborne (Masterton)
Jeff Sanders (Te Aro)
Garth Baker (Wellington)
Johanna Cosgrove (Khandallah)
Brittany Cosgrove (Khandallah)
Peter John McLaren (Roseneath)
Holly Norton (Wellington)
Ruth McDavitt (Te Aro)
Adhyatma Asphodel Myhre (Newtown)
Marianne Bishop (Newlands)
Kerry Tutty (Wellington)
Sarah Field (Porirua)
Jase TePatu (Wellington)
Justine Hamill (Wellington)
Shannan Wong (Wellington)
Heather Bannister (Masterton)
Injy Johnstone (Injy Johnstone)
Julie Ann Kamal (Lower Hutt)
Euclid Papier (Upper Hutt)
Linda Jenkinson (Upper Hutt)
Paula Warren (Wellington)
Brenda Strauchon (Hutt City)
Vhari McWha (Hataitai)
Ken Allen (Johnsonville)
Poppy Norton (Khandallah)
Tamara Olliver (Masterton)

Now in its tenth year, the Kiwibank Local Hero Awards are New Zealand’s premier community awards, celebrating and honouring those who have made a positive contribution to their region, town, suburb or community. This year, 322 medals will be presented nationwide with one New Zealand Local Hero of the Year winner to be announced at the New Zealander of the Year Awards Gala in February.

Bill Sharp (Hutt City)
For 20 years, former Wainuiomata High School teacher Bill Sharp ran the popular “support models” programme for boys struggling at school. Every Tuesday and Thursday the boys were picked up from home at 6am and taken to the school gym for a physical workout. They were then provided with breakfast. The programme provided the boys with positive support and encouraged them to be better contributors to their community.

Pera Barrett (Hutt City)
Pera Barrett is the founder of Wellington Shoebox Christmas – an initiative that delivers Christmas presents to children at low-decile schools. Pera launched the initiative in 2014, delivering 80 presents to a school in Cannons Creek. Today, Wellington Shoebox Christmas has grown to a network of more than 3000 volunteers, delivering presents to children at 32 schools. Pera has helped to set up Shoebox Christmas in Taranaki, Tauranga and Christchurch and has assisted the team running the Auckland programme. This year he is also helping to set up the programme in Melbourne and Palmerston North.

Tracey Mansfield and Karyn Williams (Hutt City)
Tracey Mansfield and Karyn Williams have been senior members of the Wainuiomata Community Patrol for more than 10 years, volunteering each 350 hours a year working with local police to reduce crime in the community. Tracey and Karyn have helped catch drunk drivers, thieves, burglars and vandals. They have also attended motor accidents, medical emergencies and have been involved in missing person searches in the Wellington area.

Phil Waddington (Wellington)
Phil Waddington is the inventor of the DOC Series humane kill traps used by community groups and professional trappers throughout New Zealand. An experienced trapmaker, Phil helped DOC with a new trap to protect kiwi from stoats, rats and other predators. The new traps have caught thousands of rats and stoats, and they are now being exported to the United Kingdom. Phil is also inaugural Artist in Residence at Wellington Zoo, painting many of the zoo’s animals.

Dr Bill (William) Glass (Wellington)
Dr Bill Glass has had a 60-year career in occupational health medicine, working for Auckland’s Department of Health, the Auckland Medical School and Otago Medical School, Massey University, the Centre for Public Health Research and WorkSafe. In particular, he has improved the lives of thousands of New Zealanders through his research into asbestos and other fatal substances. He is the founder of both the Asbestos Exposure Register and the Asbestos Disease Register.

Rebecca Morahan (Plimmerton)
Rebecca Morahan is the founder of WeLLfed – a charity providing free cooking classes and basic cooking skills to parents in Porirua. She has put more than 800 hours of work into the charity since its launch in 2016 and was this year recognised with a Rising Star award at the Wellington Regional Community Awards. Rebecca Morahan is also on the board at Bellyful NZ – a charity providing meals for families with new-born babies and families with young children struggling with an illness – and was previously its Branch Coordinator for Porirua.

Liz Sneyd and Craig Utting (Tawa)
Liz Sneyd and Craig Utting have run the Virtuoso Strings Charitable Trust for nearly five years, providing free musical tuition and instruments to youth from low-decile schools. The couple has provided lessons to thousands of students throughout the Wellington region and donated hundreds or various instruments to schools in Cannons Creek and Windley. Last year, 44 trust students sat Trinity College London music exams, with all passing and 22 passing with distinction.

Pani (Jim) Watene (Hutt City)
For 10 years, Pani Watene has volunteered at Pomare Taita Community Trust, which provides the community with a wide range of support and projects, including an after-school programme, musical tuition and parenting classes. His work includes organising and securing community events and also making and delivering food packages to immobile people. This year Pani was awarded at the Hutt City Council’s Volunteer Awards for his community service.

Tony Gaeta (Berhampore)
Tony Gaeta owns and runs South Wellington Seido Karate Dojo, teaching classes seven days a week.
Through the club, he has raised more than $140,000 in the past decade for various community organisations, including Ronald McDonald House, Wellington Free Ambulance, Marry Potter Hospice and the Wellington Children’s Hospital. This year, the club raised $18,000 for Wellington’s new Children’s Hospital, which is under construction.

Gaylene Preston (Wellington)
Gaylene Preston has a 30-year career as a writer, director and producer. Many of her films, including My Year with Helen (2017), have won international awards and been screened extensively at prestigious overseas film festivals.
Gaylene is an advocate for women’s rights. She has served on several industry boards, including the New Zealand Film Commission and New Zealand on Air.

Jeff Sanders (Te Aro)
Jeff Sanders has spent more than 30 years working for non-profits and government agencies, including those responsible for forestry, health and education.As chief executive of Barnardos New Zealand, the country’s oldest children’s charity, Jeff champions the rights and wellbeing of all children. Jeff has volunteered at many community organisations, including at the Wellington Night Shelter, and is a board member of the Roy McKenzie Centre for the Study of Families at Victoria University.

Garth Baker (Wellington)
Over the past seven years, Garth Baker has helped plant more than 14,000 native trees in Polhill through his associations with the Brooklyn Trail Builders and the Polhill Protectors. Polhill, a 70ha area of Wellington’s town belt, has been transformed from a scrubby gorse patch to one of the city’s most popular recreational areas.
Garth’s efforts have inspired many community groups and corporates to get involved in the initiative, including the Wellington Runners’ Group, local primary schools, Revolve Women’s Cycling Club and Transpower.

Johanna and Brittany Cosgrove (Khandallah)
Sisters Johanna and Brittany Cosgrove established social enterprise Nope Sisters Clothing in 2016, aiming to inspire social change through clothing. Their first project targeted breast cancer awareness and they have since developed clothing to address social issues such as sexual abuse, eating disorders and depression. A donation from the sale of every item goes to support organisations who target a specific social issue.

Peter McLaren (Roseneath)
Peter McLaren has served the Wellington community for more than four decades, volunteering thousands of hours to causes such as animal welfare, domestic violence and homelessness. He has been involved with organisations including the Wellington Rotary Club, SPCA Wellington, Wellington After-Care Association, New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts and Mary Potter Hospice.

Holly Norton (Wellington)
Holly Norton is the director and founder of Collaborate – a social enterprise app connecting people with volunteer opportunities matching their skills and interests. The company currently works with more than 250 organisations to connect with more than 900 volunteers. She developed the idea of Collaborate through her experience in the volunteer sector and with the international not-for-profit organisations.

Ruth McDavitt (Te Aro)
Ruth McDavitt is chief executive of Summer of Tech, a not-for-profit programme helping students and graduates enter the New Zealand IT industry. Starting as a volunteer, Ruth went on to become the organisation’s first paid employee and a driving force behind its success. In her eight years with the programme she has helped students acquire paid internships at major companies such as TradeMe, Xero, Rocket Lab and BNZ.

Adhyatma Asphodel Myhre (Newtown)
In 2007, Adhyatma Asphodel Myhre began teaching yoga at Waikeria Prison. After its initial success, Adhyatma expanded her yoga programme, co-founding the charity Yoga Education in Prisons Trust in 2009. The trust provides yoga and meditation education for prisoners nationwide.

Marianne Bishop (Newlands)
Marianne Bishop has worked as a nurse for senior citizens for more than 20 years. She is also a volunteer with several organisations, including the National Women’s Standing Committee, the National Council of Women and the Council of Trade Unions, where has been involved with the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women.

Kerry Tutty (Wellington)
Lieutenant-Commander Kerry Tutty is an advocate for diversity within the Royal New Zealand Navy. In 2014, Kerry established the Royal New Zealand Navy’s Women’s Steering Group, which navigates current and future success of women in the navy. Kerry has served with the navy for 30 years. She is also a top netball and touch rugby coach and player.

Sarah Field (Porirua)
After her baby died in the womb at 21 weeks, Sarah Field began working on a walk of remembrance for children who have passed away too soon. With help from the Porirua Council, two pathways were laid this year which now is home to 129 plaques. The pathway has two sections; the “caterpillar” section, for babies who died in the womb, and the “butterfly” section, for babies who died shortly after birth. The walkway, built by a playground, has since seen families regularly gather to support each other and remember their loved ones.

Jase Te Patu (Wellington)
Jase Te Patu is a yoga teacher and meditation and mindfulness instructor. As co-owner of Wellington Power Living Studio, Jase runs koha yoga classes alongside fellow co-owner Justine Hamill, with all proceeds going towards Youth Line Wellington. Jase also runs a children’s wellbeing programme M3, which helps primary-aged kids become more mindful, calm and peaceful. This year, as part of Maori Language week, Jase taught a class in Te Reo to more than 100 people.

Justine Hamill (Wellington)
Justine Hamill is a co-owner of Power Living Yoga in Wellington. She is a volunteer with the New Zealand Yoga Education in Prisons Trust, which provides yoga and meditation education for prisoners across the country. As part of the programme, Justine regularly teaches yoga to inmates at the Drug Treatment Unit in Wellington.

Shannan Wong (Wellington)
Shannan Wong has been involved with Youthline since 2002. She provides counselling services to those in need and trains new volunteers. Shannon also establishes connections with similar organisations, both nationally and internationally, to ensure young people have access to the best support services. Shannan was recently made an accredited member for Korowai Tupu – the professional association for youth workers in New Zealand.

Injy Johnstone (Te Aro)
Injy Johnstone has volunteered in causes including climate action, conservation and foster children. Injy has also founded several non-for-profit organisations. These include People at Heart, which raises awareness of emotional and domestic abuse, the online sustainability portal Envi.nz and Foster Child Support NZ. She is currently a voluntary national administrator at Generation Zero – a youth-led climate organisation that champions solutions towards a carbon neutral New Zealand.

Julie Ann Kamal (Lower Hutt)
Teacher Julie Ann Kamal has run a day care centre in India for 11 years. Costing around $1000 a month to run, Julie keeps the centre going with her own money as well as running regular fundraising in her community. Her dedication to children in need has changed their lives immensely, providing them with basic necessities and skills they previously had no access too, such as brushing and caring for their teeth.

Euclid Papier (Upper Hutt)
Euclid Papier, 15, is the founder of Bye Bye Plastic Bags New Zealand and co-founder of Bye Bye Plastic Bags Global – a global initiative to stop the production and selling of plastic bags in Bali and internationally. He began the initiative with two students from Bali in 2013 and it is now operating into 20 countries. Euclid provides in-school presentations to inspire students to be a part of the movement and recently won an Upper Hutt Kaitiaki Award.

Linda Jenkinson (Upper Hutt)
Linda Jenkinson is one of New Zealand’s most successful businesswomen and was the second New Zealander to list a company on the Nasdaq – an American tech stock exchange. She is the founder of three multi-million companies, including Dispatch Management Services, and is a director of several companies including the Guild Group and Air New Zealand. Linda is also the founder and Managing Director of WOW Investments – a social investment fund focused on building women-led enterprises in West Africa.

Paula Warren (Wellington)
Paula Warren has dedicated her life to conservation. She is a member of the Wellington City Council Environmental Reference Group – an advisory group to advise the Council on its natural environment policy, planning and management matters – and chair of the Friends of Baring Head, which is supports the restoration of natural and historic heritage in the large regional park. She is also a sustainable transport advocate and for 20 years has campaigned for Wellingtonians to walk, cycle or use public transport instead of cars.

Brenda Strauchon (Hutt City)
Brenda Strauchon has run the office at the Hutt Valley Teen Parent Unit for more than 13 years, supporting young mums who have children while at secondary school. She also began the Dads Programme at the unit, which every week supports teen dads with a range of activities and events and also provides them with support, including male mentors and councillors.

Vhari McWha (Hataitai)
Vhari McWha has been involved with GirlGuiding New Zealand for more than two decades. As a member of the organisation’s governance, she is a key volunteer responsible for overseeing finances, investments and property. Vhari has also been a Brownie, a Ranger leader, a Regional Brownie Adviser and a GirlGuiding Trainer, sharing her expertise and support with other leaders for eight years.

Ken Allen (Johnsonville)
Ken Allen is an active and highly respected volunteer in the Wellington community, providing 20 hours of guidance and leadership for Sport Wellington every week. When he is not at Sport Wellington, Ken volunteers with other organisations, including the Newtown Ethical Lending Trust, Kaibosh Food Rescue and Wellington Community Trust. He is also a netball referee and helps with administration at local football clubs.

Poppy Norton (Khandallah)
Poppy Norton works as a student liaison officer at Victoria University. She travels nationwide helping students transition from high school to tertiary education and ensures they are prepared academically and mentally.
She has received many awards to recognise her leadership, including the Te Pūtahi Atawhai Mentor Award for excellence in mentoring Māori and Pasifika students and The Rotary Youth Leadership Award.

Jason Osborne (Masterton)
Jason Osborne has devoted 20 years of service to the Greytown Cricket Club and the Wairarapa Cricket Association. He is a trustee of the Wairarapa Sports Education Trust and is involved with the Fab Lab Masterton Trust, Greytown Community & Sport Hospice, Diabetes Wairarapa, Wairarapa Suicide Prevention and Wairarapa Women’s Refuge.

Heather Bannister (Masterton)
After acquiring more than 100 vintage sewing machines, Heather Bannister decided she wanted to share her personal collection with the rest of the community. Last year she launched the programme Come Sew With Me, which allows people in the community to use the machines, learn to sew, mend clothing, socialise and have tea.

Tamara Olliver (Masterton)
Tamara Olliver has been a teacher at Fab Lab for three years. Fab Lab is a digital fabrication charity providing open access and education for 3D printing, laser cutting, CNC milling, vinyl cutting, heat pressing, coding and electronics. Tamara has taught these skills to more than 1000 students across 13 different schools and dozens of community members at local workshops and events.

No comments yet.

Write a comment: