The awards will be held at Baycourt on Thursday 16 March 2023.
The annual community awards that recognise the contribution of voluntary and not-for-profit individuals and groups in the Western Bay of Plenty have announced the finalists for the 2023 awards.
Previously known as the TECT Community Awards, the Western Bay Community Awards are delivered by the Bay’s local funders Acorn Foundation, BayTrust, TECT, Tauranga City Council, and Western Bay of Plenty District Council.
A total of 24 finalists have been announced for the 2023 Western Bay Community Awards, including champions for the environment, rising junior volunteers, and events that excelled in bringing the community together.
There are six award categories for which nominations were received: Event Excellence, Sustainable Future, Diversity and Inclusion, Heart of the Community, Youth Spirit and Volunteer of the Year. A Lifetime Service Award and People's Choice Award will also be announced on the night of the awards.
The judging panel considered over 45 high calibre nominations across all categories.
Community Awards judge Paul Geoghegan says the Western Bay of Plenty community sector makes the judges’ job difficult.
“How amazing that our job is made so challenging by the sheer number of community groups and volunteers who are investing their time and energy into important causes in our community.
“It is a privilege each year to read the nominations we receive, and we look forward to acknowledging the passion and dedication of the finalists at the awards evening next year.”
Tauranga City Council Chair Anne Tolley thanks the nominees and finalists who are working quietly to make our community a better place to live.
“To all of the nominees for the Western Bay Community Awards, your nomination shows that the work you do in the community is recognised and appreciated. Thank you for supporting our region to thrive – we are grateful for the positive difference you are making.”
Western Bay of Plenty Mayor James Denyer says the awards night is an opportunity to honour these outstanding contributions.
“It is a special way to bring the community together to share the stories and work of dedicated groups and unsung heroes in our region. It will truly be a night of celebration and connection.”
The finalists for the 2023 Western Bay Community Awards are:
Event Excellence Award
· Escape Festival
· After Dark Urban Light Festival
· Diwali Festival
Sustainable Future Award
· PiPS – People & Plants in Schools
· Project Parore
· Aongatete Forest Project
· Live Well Waihi Beach
Diversity and Inclusion Award
· Sonic Cinema
· Tauranga/Western Bay Global Ambassadors
· Detour Theatre
Heart of the Community Award
· Grief Support Services
· Te Puke Events and Promotions Group (EPIC Te Puke)
· Poutiri Wellness Centre
Youth Spirit Award
· Brooke Taingahue
· Dominic Absalom
· Darcy Bassett
· Jasrose Mallhi
Volunteer of the Year Award
· Basil and Ann Graeme
· Tony Booth
· Luke Landon
· Doug Barnes
Winners will be announced at the Western Bay Community Awards on Thursday 16 March 2023. All nominees, nominators, and finalists will be invited early next year. To learn more, visit https://www.tect.org.nz/community-awards-2023/