Learn about all the finalists in the TECT Community Awards.
The People's Choice Award is open from Monday 7th February to Friday 4th March 2022. We will announce the winner at the awards night on Thursday 17th March. All winners will also be announced online after the event.
Click on a finalist below to learn more about their incredible work:
Event Excellence Award
Bay of Plenty Garden and Art Festival
The Bay of Plenty Garden and Art Festival brings many thousands of visitors to our region every second year, contributing to a healthy and positive community and the local economy. With constant and passionate commitment offered voluntarily from the festival's many wonderful gardeners, artists who offer their works for all visitors to the festival to enjoy, and the team of volunteers who offer their time leading up to and during the event, the festival offers something for everyone to enjoy.
He Iwi Kotahi Tauranga Moana Charitable Trust – Waitangi Day Celebrations
He Iwi Kotahi Tauranga Moana Charitable Trust’s Waitangi Day Celebrations brought over 5000 people together to celebrate New Zealand's National Day in an inclusive and respectful manner, whilst highlighting the multi-ethnic make up of New Zealanders in 2021. Whether it was music from local musicians on stage, weaving and basket-making workshops at The Artery, history lessons in The Amphitheatre, or food from all over the world in the food court, Waitangi Day Tauranga was about the true human value in being part of something bigger than oneself.
National Jazz Festival
The Tauranga Jazz Society hosts the National Jazz Festival and National Youth Jazz Competition annually at Easter. The 2021 National Jazz Festival brought together approximately 30,000 people and involved local community groups, 400 local and national jazz musicians, 29 national secondary schools with 450 students competing, and many local participating businesses. The festival showcased the Tauranga Waterfront/Downtown Tauranga and the Historic Village as alive, vibrant community spaces.
Tauranga Multicultural Festival
This free community event attracted 6,500 attendees from across the region and afar. The event marked Race Unity Day and offered the many cultures in our community the opportunity to come together to celebrate their identity here in the Bay of Plenty. A range of food stalls, performers, artists, crafters, and information providers offered entertainment and highlighted the diversity and depth of cultures in our region.
Te Kete O Matariki
Te Kete O Matariki was a fantastic celebration which showcased some of the amazing mahi that is happening in our community and educated the community about the significance of Matariki. Community groups engaged through fundraising stalls, providing Māori kai, local Māori Health Services had were in attendance, and there was even an interactive carving demonstration. There was amazing participation from the Kahui Ako o Te Puke, ECEs, and school groups performed kapa haka, which drew large crowds of spectators. Many teachers were also involved in kite making and poi making workshops. Then live music entertained the community well into the evening.
Sustainable Future Award
Envirohub Bay of Plenty
Envirohub Bay of Plenty is all about sustainability, working every day to help educate, inspire and advocate for our community to help make informed choices towards a more sustainable life. They run many different programs in the wider Bay of Plenty area, including the Sustainable Neighbourhood Project, Sustainable Backyards, and the Precious Plastics Project. Precious Plastics sees Envirohub seek to divert from landfill all the milk and soda lids that currently can't be recycled in our kerbside recycling. Working with other community groups they use the help of volunteers to shred the bottle tops and melt them into sheets of recycled plastic that can continue to have a use or purpose in society.
Friends of the Blade
Friends of the Blade is a community conservation group tasked with running a pest control programme covering close to 300 hectares of Kaimai Mamaku Forest Park. The work is carried out by a growing group of dedicated volunteers who give their time to check and re-bait rat, possum, and stoat traps. Animal pest control is the main focus of the group, with the aim of creating a pest-free environment in which the native wildlife can flourish. Trapping started in May 2016 and after 5 years of intensive work 5,587 rats have been eliminated, 2,361 possums, 104 stoats, 6 weasels, 11 ferrets, and 1,150 mice.
Maketu Ongatoro Wetland Society
Maketū Ōngātoro Wetland Society (MOWS) is a community conservation group working as a Social Enterprise, that looks to protect and restore the mauri and native biodiversity of the lower Kaituna River, Maketū Harbour, Waihi Harbour and the surrounding area. With a focus on wetlands and coastal environments, the group do a wide range of mahi from monitoring to weed control, pest control and planting, education and advocacy. From an environmental point of view the results are something to be proud of. Maketu is an Important Bird Area, with survey work indicating that it is one of only two sites on the North Island that has a growing red billed gull population. If you visit Maketu anytime soon you will be treated to a colony of about 10,000 birds. Some of this success story can be attributed to the many hours of care and perseverance shown by the MOWS team and volunteers.
PiPS - People, Plants, School
PiPS runs the school garden clubs and environmental programmes for seven schools in the catchment area of Mount Maunganui and Pāpāmoa. The programme provides tamariki hands-on learning around growing and maintaining gardens, their food system and local environment throughout their school journey. A new initiative launched this year is the Mauao Regeneration project. This project involves students collecting native seed off Mauao, caring for the seedlings at school, learning about pest control, right through to planting the seedlings in what will become the PiPS Mauao whānau ngahere (family forest). Those that have participated in this project will then be able to visit their whānau ngahere for years to come, creating that long lasting connection with Mauao.
Youth Search and Rescue Trust
The Youth Search & Rescue programme enables students to develop the necessary skills to participate as active community volunteers to create sustainability within Search and Rescue and Emergency Management organisations. The natural environment sits at the heart of every decision they make. As kaitiaki of the native bush, they tread lightly, ensuring they preserve and enhance our country’s natural wonders for future generations to enjoy. They wish to teach rangatahi how they should be looking after and interact with our awa and whenua in a way that is respectful.
Diversity and Inclusion Award
English Language Partners Bay of Plenty
English Language Partners Bay of Plenty teach English for work and everyday life in New Zealand, helping new Kiwis learn the English they need to participate and live independent lives. They teach people from many different countries and cultures, offering a wide range of courses online, in class, for work and with home tutors. Their 100 volunteers provide free English lessons to former refugees and migrants in learners’ homes. The volunteers that are trained and placed with learners make real and significant differences in the lives of their learners, particularly over the last 12 months in supporting through the challenges of Covid-19 and its effects.
Pacific Island Community (Tauranga) Trust
Pacific Island Community (Tauranga) Trust has provided crucial support to Tauranga and Western Bay's Pasifika communities over the past 12 months - supporting with sharing information through their strong community networks, delivering health and social services, community development, youth programmes, vaccinations outreach and delivering hundreds of food parcels to Pacific families during the Covid-19 lockdown to those who most vulnerable. Their office is a welcoming space that celebrates Pasifika peoples and cultures, with their staff and environment celebrating the diversity of Pasifika.
RainbowYOUTH’s kaupapa is about engaging young people to be active in their community and in supporting their peers, by providing training, resources and decision-making authority through volunteer opportunities. The Regional Coordinator works in the Bay of Plenty to connect health and wellbeing services that are affirming of queer, intersex and gender diverse people, and provides resources, information and access to training to increase awareness of rainbow issues and competency to those that are open to improving. RainbowYOUTH is youth run and youth led, encouraging young members to become involved at all levels of the organisation, including governance.
StarJam provides vital community connections for youth inactive or isolated by disability, with mental and physical wellbeing their foremost priority. They provide a unique place for young people aged 6 to 25 years with a range of disabling, often life-limiting, conditions to express themselves through music. The objective is to get them physically active in an environment where they feel safe to, connecting with their peers and developing social and physical skills that enable them to live full and meaningful lives within society. They achieve this through running weekly workshops in music and performance, along with providing regular opportunities for participants (Jammers) to perform and showcase their talents before audiences in a variety of community settings.
Tauranga Riding for the Disabled
Tauranga Riding for the Disabled provides goal-based therapy riding to increase the ability, independence and confidence of people with physical, intellectual social challenges and at-risk youth. Each year they provide over 5,200 rider sessions with a growing waiting list. Tauranga RDA offers a sense of community and belonging for their riders, their families and to their 100 volunteers.
Heart of the Community Award
Alzheimers Society Tauranga
Alzheimers Tauranga’s mission is to make life better for all people affected by dementia. The local charity specialises in providing support, information and advice to people affected by dementia. Staff identified during the Covid Lockdown how many carers of people with dementia were facing significantly more stress and exacerbated challenges in accessing respite care. As a problematic area at best in normal times and with access and flexibility of respite care being an ongoing issue, with funding, Alzheimers Society Tauranga was able to provide a variety of bespoke options for people in a timely manner delivered in a flexible way and without a cost burden to the service users.
Good Neighbour Projects Team
The Good Neighbour Projects Team does all kinds of community projects to help people in need in Tauranga. Their goal is to inspire everyone in New Zealand to live better lives by seeing the needs of people next to us and responding with kindness, compassion and generosity. The Projects team helps with backyard clean-ups, street makeovers, small house moves, firewood and various other jobs as requested to help those in need. The projects team has 70 Volunteers and has completed 142 projects in the past year and delivered 322 cubic meters of firewood to families for winter.
Homes of Hope Charitable Trust
Homes of Hope is committed to the delivery of therapeutic care through child-centred community homes working alongside whanau/family and other professionals to restore mana so the tamariki they care for go forward happy, healthy and as the change makers of the future. Homes of Hopes aim is to provide stability of care where siblings can remain together while seeking to reduce the likelihood of multiple placements occurring. Over the past 18 months, the charity has built a fourth home onsite through the efforts of bringing together a large contingent of respected community to engage and realise this dream. Hundreds of people within the Tauranga community put their hands up to help build this new home. The home has been built, furnished, and fully paid for by community who have shown they care, and have stepped up to show support through hard work and passion.
Western Bay Heritage Trust
Inside the instantly recognisable historic Old Fire Station in Katikati, you will discover the only museum in the Bay of Plenty and one of Aotearoa’s hidden-gems. At its heart, Western Bay Heritage Trust and Museum is about conserving, preserving, cataloguing and displaying the taonga of the region. It is open 7 days a week thanks to the generosity of 70+ volunteers who contribute 600 hours per month. This past year, Te Papa National Services Te Paerangi recognised Western Bay Museum as the most progressive museum in the country at present.
YWAM Ships Aotearoa - Trinity Koha Dental Clinic
YWAM Ships Aotearoa's central purpose is to empower a healthy future in the Pacific through the use of the YWAM Koha to provide medical and dental services. However, with the borders closed due to Covid-19, and aware of clear health inequities right here in Aotearoa, the charity pivoted to use its resources to help those with little access to oral health services at affordable prices in the Bay of Plenty, setting up the fully volunteer-run Trinity Koha Dental Clinic. The clinic ran for 5 weeks in the Western Bay, supporting over 500 people with their dental needs.
Youth Spirit Award
Kim has completed an outstanding amount of voluntary work, both within school and the community. She belongs to the Student Volunteer Army and has completed over 500 hours of voluntary work. She is the WBOP And Tauranga based Global Ambassador, she helps with the SEVA Service at the Te Puke Sikh Temple every Saturday which includes preparing food for around 200 people and cleaning up, and she is on the WBOPDC Teen Advisory Board, helping provide a youth voice around topics of interest including how to engage teens in the library. At school she has again offered countless hours of service to the school community as the Cultural Leader, being on the House Committee, Indian Student Council, and Enviro Committee, and volunteering to support junior students with their reading through the Aim High Reading Programme. She has also been the winner of the Rotary Cup and Premier Service Award for ‘Service Before Self’ for the last two years.
In her time at Otumoetai College, Kororia has been an active member in the Te Ao Maori. For the past four years she has been part of the Ruamano Committee as a member and in 2021 as a leader. She was also selected as a Tatariki leader in Year 11 to lead the flock as an active member of Te Whanau Poutama. Poutma is an environment that the kaiako have created to ensure the success of Maori rangatahi. Kororia is also a very active member of the community involved in the Tauranga Moana Tauranga Tangata Festival, the annual Huia Aranga, and many other kaupapa that occur in and around her Marae (Tutereinga), hapu and iwi. Kororia has much mana and is held in very high regard both in an out of school. In addition to this, Kororia has been instrumental in driving change for equity within the school by putting forward a proposal for the Board of Trustees to change policy within the College.
16-year-old Quinn Boyle has made significant contributions to the community through his many volunteer roles and fundraising efforts. Quinn is an ultra-marathon solo non wetsuit open water swimmer and swims to raise money for charities in need. He has swum over 150 km in total. Locally, this year alone, he has donated over $3,000 to Otamarakau School, Westpac Helicopter Trust, Community Red Cross, Cancer Society and the White Island Victims. Quinn has been volunteering at local Bay of Plenty schools, Paengaroa and Otamarakau Primary, taking swimming lessons, coaching sports teams and supporting tamariki with their reading. He has recently written and donated a book for all local primary schools to enjoy. Quinn is a member and volunteer surf life saver, patrolling and fundraising for the Pukehina Surf Rescue Club. On the weekends he spends time planting Coastcare protection plants, constructing native bird protection nesting areas and doing rubbish collection in the sandunes along the Western Bay beaches. During the lockdown, Quinn helped to deliver food and clothing parcels to whanau in need in his local neighbourhood.
Although kept busy as the programmer for STEAM-ED’s National Champions robotics team, Ryan is always first to volunteer his time to help teach robotics whether it be in STEAM-ED’s school holiday programmes, STEMFest workshops, CANVAS Tauranga Careers Expo, or when other robotics teams require assistance. Each school holidays he gives up at least three days to assist in STEAM-ED's Robotics holiday programme. He is always friendly and approachable putting children at ease as they learn with his ready smile and great sense of humour. As one of the top high school robot programmers in New Zealand he could choose to be only interested in his own team's project, but instead he is genuinely excited to share his passion in programming with anyone who shows interest.
Shuari Naidoo is passionate about volunteering and helping her community. From Tauranga originally, Shuari now studies at Victoria University where she is the president of the Victoria University Feminist organization and president of the Arts society. She has volunteered for Victoria University's stress-free week and helped organize the Vic Women’s week. Through her business Moraka Menstrual Cups, she has donated over 300 cups to organizations such as Te Oriori, Endo Warriors Aotearoa, Tauranga Women's Refuge, Waipua Hauora and will now donate cups to the Wairarapa Women's Refuge. In 2021 she was selected as a YWCA board intern and was selected as Y25 for the YWCA for trailblazing women in the community. For 2022 Shuari has been selected for Youth Parliament as a press gallery member.
Volunteer of the Year Award
Andrew leads the four volunteer lifeguard patrols within his role as the Pukehina Surf Rescue Lifeguard Coordinator. Responsible for the organisation of Pukehina Surf Rescue Clubs’ 60 lifeguards ensuring they are suitably upskilled each year often encouraging others take on their next skill development challenge. As a SLSNZ Peer Supporter he works in confidence across the Bay of Plenty helping to support people after tragic events/rescues. Andrew is also Regional Club Auditor, Chair of the Pukehina Surf Club Building team, a club coach, and is on the Regional Lifeguard committee. His professionalism is second to none and he is always personable and has great success in helping people. Andy commits 1500 volunteer hours each year and is very active within the community organising the ANZAC remembrance event for Pukehina, supporting local youth and people in general.
Bill Webb runs Good Neighbour’s Fruit Picking Team and rescues whatever is seasonal with his dedicated team of fellow volunteers. He also drives the Good Neighbour Food Rescue trucks once a week collecting food from 13 supermarkets. The team have picked over 20,000kg of fruit in the past 12 months with an estimated value of $169,000 and have visited 69 properties. Bill is also extremely dedicated as a volunteer at Tauranga Hockey Association. He has been a player, team manager and umpire. Bill is currently the hockey centre’s de facto ‘Facilities Manager’ – working each Sunday ensuring the facility is maintained for local and national events.
David Walker serves every day as Homes of Hope’s FixIt-MakeIt-DoIt-MowIt-WeedIt-PruneIt-InventIt-SolveIt-PlanIt-BuildIt-RepairIt-PaintIt On-Site Maintenance Groundsman! David is the charity’s go-to man for any and all matters relating to property maintenance, upkeep, development, improvements, and repairs. David has built playgrounds, mended bikes by the dozen, and allows some of Homes of Hope’s tamariki to work alongside him. David is incredibly reliable, fastidious in the execution of whatever it is he puts his hands to and takes great pride in ensuring Homes of Hope’s grounds and buildings are well maintained, within their financial constraints.
Maureen began volunteering at the Tauranga Community Foodbank 29 years ago and is still doing so today. At 90-years-old, she volunteers each week at the Foodbank, measuring out and distributing ingredients - like rice, flour and sugar - into each food parcel. She has volunteered over 12,000 hours during her time at the Foodbank, and says she will continue going for as long as she can.
Rodney comes and helps Envirohub week in, week out with their Precious Plastics Project, diverting plastic bottle lids from landfill by shredding them and turning them into other products such as clocks, earrings, and pens. Rodney is an essential part of the process and Envirohub couldn’t do it without him turning up each week cheerfully, popping on his hearing protectors and getting on with the shredding. Since Envirohub opened their community recycling workshop early in 2021 Rodney has shredded thousands of plastic lids from single-use bottles and containers, helping keep those lids out of landfill.
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