Nominations for the 2024 Western Bay Community Awards Now Open

Kirsty Maxwell-Crawford, Chief Executive of Poutiri Wellness Centre accepted the 2023 Heart of the Community Award on behalf of the Poutiri Wellness Centre.

The Western Bay Community Awards bring together all those involved in the Western Bay community and volunteer sector to celebrate and acknowledge their incredible community work that helps make Western Bay one of the greatest places to live.

The awards are delivered by Acorn Foundation, BayTrust, Tauranga City Council, TECT, and Western Bay of Plenty District Council and are back for 2024.

TECT Chairperson Bill Holland says the awards allow outstanding local community groups and individual volunteers to be recognised and celebrated for enabling our region to thrive.

“There are many unsung heroes working in the background throughout our region, making the Western Bay a better place to live. Our region would not be what it is today without the efforts of these community groups and volunteers. This is why we continue to host these celebratory awards in partnership with other funders from around the Bay.”

Nominations for the 2024 awards are now open across six award categories. The categories are Event Excellence, Sustainable Future, Diversity and Inclusion, Heart of the Community, Youth Spirit, and Volunteer of the Year.

Alongside the six nominated categories, a Lifetime Service Award will also be presented, and a People’s Choice Award, which is voted by the general public from all nominee finalists. Voting for the People’s Choice Award is held online, and will open in February 2024.

At this year’s 2023 Western Bay Community Awards, Poutiri Wellness Centre won the Heart of the Community Award.

Kirsty Maxwell-Crawford, Chief Executive of Poutiri Wellness Centre, says ehara taku toa I te toa takitahi, engari he toa takitini – We are successful in communities when we work together. The Heart of the Community Award is a special way to acknowledge the incredible things done in the community.

“It was such a surprise and meant a lot that someone had gone out of their way to put Poutiri forward. It was an honour to be nominated and be the winning recipients in 2023. We look forward to cheering for the 2024 winners, it’s time to nominate!”

The 2024 Western Bay Community Awards will again take place in March at Baycourt Community and Arts Centre, after an online showcase of all finalists in the six weeks leading up to the awards event. The online showcase will be shared across Facebook and Instagram.

Paula Naude, Community Development and Emergency Management Manager of Tauranga City Council says Tauranga City Council is delighted to support the 2024 Western Bay Community Awards.

“The awards are an important way to honour the community and volunteer sector, those who work tirelessly to make a positive difference across a range of services and initiatives. These local community champions contribute hugely to the overall wellbeing of the city with their leadership, inspiration, and dedication to their cause,” Says Paula, “The Western Bay Community Awards have been a great legacy for our region for a number of years, and we are incredibly grateful to be able to continuously celebrate our residents doing great things.”

Jodie Rickard, Community and Strategic Relationships Manager of Western Bay of Plenty District Council says there are so many people and organisations doing amazing things in their community. Still, we don’t always get the chance to celebrate them.

“The awards are a fantastic way to come together and recognise the value people and organisations provide every day in our communities and to collectively and formally thank them. It’s also a fun and inspiring evening – with great entertainment and shared stories.”

Any not-for-profit organisation or volunteer in the Tauranga and Western Bay can be nominated for the awards. Self-nominations are also encouraged.

Nominations are quick and easy, all done via a simple online form submitted via the TECT website by Tuesday, 31 October 2023.

The awards ceremony evening will take place on 21 March 2024 and will be a night for those who work behind the scenes to take centre stage and be recognised for their hard work and community spirit.

Award Categories:

  • Event Excellence Award – Recognising an event that has excelled in bringing our community together.

  • Sustainable Future Award – Recognising a group that demonstrates climate related practices, either through projects that protect or improve the environment, or sustainability-focused thinking and action within the organisation’s operations.

  • Diversity and Inclusion Award – Recognising an innovative initiative which supports diversity and inclusion within our community.

  • Heart of the Community Award – Recognising a group that has gone above and beyond business as usual to support a thriving, caring and connected community.

  • Youth Spirit Award – Recognising an individual under 25 who embodies community spirit through their contribution to the community.

  • Volunteer of the Year Award – Recognising an individual who has made a significant contribution to the community.

2023 Western Bay Community Awards attended by Nominee Finalists, family, friends and members of the community and volunteer sector.

Te Kura o Matapihi kapa haka group opened the 2023 Western Bay Community Awards.


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