Restoring the Waiwhakaiho River, zero waste gigs, wool water filters and stopping the decline in kiwi numbers are among the achievements of this year’s Taranaki Regional Council Environmental Award winners.
In an awards ceremony held in New Plymouth on Tuesday night, 19 winners were congratulated for leading by example with their efforts to be more sustainable, and protect our precious taiao (natural resources).
Taranaki Regional Council chairperson Charlotte Littlewood says the awards are pivotal in recognising those who are ground-breaking in their efforts to build sustainable communities, reduce carbon emissions, improve native biodiversity and protect wetlands and other native habitat.
“There are thousands of people all over Taranaki doing incredible mahi to protect and enhance our environment. While none of them do it for the recognition, they all deserve our thanks.
“It was an absolute privilege to hear the stories of this year’s winners. I hope they inspire others to think about how they too can live and work more sustainably.”
This year’s 19 awards bring the total to 348 since they began in 1993.
This year’s winners in the five award categories are:
Environmental action in education
- Matapu Preschool - For empowering young people to take action to protect and restore the environment.
- Spotswood College - For empowering rangatahi to take action to build a sustainable community.
- Green School - For empowering students to take action to build a sustainable community and take action to protect and restore the environment.
- Waitoriki School - For empowering students to take action to build a sustainable community and take action to protect and restore the environment.
- Nicola Stanton - For taking action to protect and restore the environment.
Environmental leadership in land management
- Robin and Jacqueline Blackwell - For environmental stewardship and improving ecosystem health through riparian fencing and planting.
- Mat and Vanessa Vujcich - For a significant contribution to the protection and enhancement of precious native habitats in Taranaki and enlisting landowner support for these efforts.
- Mark and Rob Hooper - For a significant contribution to the protection and enhancement of precious native habitats in Taranaki.
- Airport Farm Trust - For environmental stewardship, sustainable land management and improving ecosystem health through riparian fencing and planting.
Environmental leadership in business
- Todd Energy - For a significant contribution to the safeguarding and protection of the Kapuni Awa.
- Webster Energy Services - For innovation and developing containment systems to protect the ground around drilling rigs and prevent spills from reaching the environment around wells.
Environmental leadership in dairy farming
- Tony and Lorraine Lash - For environmental stewardship and improving ecosystem health through riparian fencing and planting and efforts to encourage biodiversity.
- Brent and Deborah Rawlinson - For environmental stewardship and improving ecosystem health through riparian fencing and planting and efforts to improve biodiversity.
- Damian, Jane and Jack Roper - For outstanding contributions to restoring biodiversity and efforts to plant native trees, control predators and maintain the quality of freshwater.
Environmental action in the community
- Sustainable Taranaki - For outstanding contribution to promoting sustainability in Taranaki and educating and encouraging communities and individuals to make lifestyle changes which benefit the environment.
- Jacob Waterman - For actively championing the diversion of waste from landfill and the increase in recycling at major events.
- Taranaki Kōhanga Kiwi at Rotokare - For outstanding advocacy and efforts to protect and restore western brown kiwi populations.
- Ka whakaaraara te tangata, ka whakaora te wai, ka whakahoki te taonga - For outstanding advocacy and voluntary efforts in restoring natural habitats of taonga species at mahinga kai sites along the Waiwhakaiho Awa and empowering rangatahi to take environmental action.
- Brian Gasson - For incredible enthusiasm for protecting and improving the local environment and inspiring others to take positive action.
More details about the award winners, including video profiles, can be found at www.trc.govt.nz/award-winners/(external link)