The awards that recognise the hard work and dedication of the Western Bay’s philanthropic community!

The Western Bay Community Awards 2023 brought together all those who are involved in the not-for-profit sector; to celebrate and acknowledge their incredible community work that is helping make the Western Bay of Plenty one of the greatest places to live.

An online event was hosted over six weeks on TECT's Facebook page, which then culminated with the awards ceremony at Baycourt on the 16th of March, where the winners were announced. After a hiatus due to Covid-19, it was fantastic to have everyone in one room again to cheer for the outstanding contributions of the passionate and dedicated finalists and winners.

The Western Bay Community Awards are delivered by TECT, Acorn Foundation, BayTrust, Tauranga City Council, and Western Bay of Plenty District Council.

Congratulations to our 2023 Community Awards winners, and a massive thank you for the incredible mahi that you do!

Thank you to our fabulous photographer, Andrew Warner, for capturing these photos.

Congratulations to our finalists!

Congratulations to everyone who submitted a nomination or was nominated by someone for the Western Bay Community Awards. We received so many incredible nominations and our judges were inspired by the work being done in our community by non-profit groups, volunteers and young changemakers. 

The 2023 finalists were:

Event Excellence Award

  • After Dark Urban Light Festival

  • Diwali Festival

  • Escape Festival

  • StemFEST

Heart of the Community Award

  • EPIC Te Puke

  • Grief Support Services

  • Mums4Mums

  • Poutiri Wellness Centre

Sustainable Future Award

  • Aongatete Forest Project

  • Live Well Waihi Beach

  • PiPS - People & Plants in Schools

  • Project Parore

Volunteer of the Year Award

  • Basil and Ann Graeme

  • Luke Landon

  • Tony Booth

  • Doug Barnes

Diversity and Inclusion Award

  • Detour Theatre

  • Global Ambassadors

  • Sonic Cinema

  • StarJam

Youth Spirit Award

  • Brooke Taingahue

  • Darcy Bassett

  • Dominic Absalom

  • Jasrose Mallhi

Who is Eligible for the Western Bay Community Awards?

Any not-for-profit organisation or volunteer in the Western Bay of Plenty can be nominated for the Western Bay Community Awards. Groups do not have to have received funding from any of the funders to apply. The Awards are based on activities undertaken in the previous 12 months.

Who Can Nominate a Group for the Awards?

Anyone can make a nomination in any of the 6 award categories. Nominators do not need to be directly associated with the group/person being nominated.

What are the Categories?

The Western bay Community Awards are divided into six categories. If, in the view of the judges, an entry meets the criteria for consideration under another category, the judges reserve the right to transfer the entry to that category.

  • 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.

A People's Choice Award will open in February for the general public to vote on their favourite finalist. 

Additionally, a Lifetime Service Award winner will be announced on the awards show night. 

How Are the Awards Judged?

A panel made up of community representatives judge the entries. The key criteria considered by judges are:

  • Impact on community - benefit of service/project on the wider community
  • Innovation and creativity - utilises innovative ideas and new approaches.
  • Effectiveness of activities - success of service, achievement or objectives
  • Use of resources - cost effectiveness, sustainability, and volunteering involvement and commitment 
  • Collaboration – evidence of collaboration and partnerships

In partnership with


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