A special event was held last night to recognise 20 individuals who have selflessly given back to the community helping improve and enrich the lives of others.
The annual Hastings District Council Civic Honours Awards took place at Functions on Hastings at Toitoi - Hawke’s Bay Arts and Events Centre, where the recipients were joined by friends, family and supporters for the presentation.
Hastings mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said the awards was one of the most important and anticipated civic events in the council calendar.
“For more than 30 years we have been acknowledging and celebrating the people that voluntarily help others, bring people together and give back to the community in so many ways.
“A Hastings District Council Civic Honour is the highest award our community can bestow upon a person. And I am really proud and grateful for the opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate with this year’s deserving recipients.
“These awards shine a light on our civic leaders, who through their personal leadership, sacrifice and devotion inspire us all; they make a significant and immensely positive difference to the wellbeing of our beautiful Hastings district and importantly our people.”
This year’s recipients were:
Mohinder Singh Nagra – Heavily involved in the Sikh community and temple in Hastings, Mohinder plays a big part in community sports and cultural events and makes himself available at any time as Justice of the Peace helping people with work visas and documents.
Marion and Mike Shakespeare – Long-time Nourished for Nil volunteers Mike and Marion have both worked tirelessly for the food rescue organisation since it began in 2017.
Leah Baterbonia – The Hawke’s Bay Filipino community has been well served by Leah for more than 10 years, including as a mentor, a Justice of the Peace, founder and ongoing member of the organising committee of the Asian in the Bay awards and a volunteer ambassador for the Philippine Embassy.
Sayeed Ahmed – A founding member of the Bangladesh Association of New Zealand in 1991, Sayeed has become the prime advocate for Bangladeshis in Hawke’s Bay and was instrumental in fundraising to build a local mosque.
Kane Koko – A champion of the Pakipaki community, Kane dedicates his life to representing it through roles at Taraia Marae, Houngarea Marae, Pakipaki Hapū Trust and the Whenuakura Urupā among many more.
Owen ‘Jerry’ Hapuku – Jerry has spent 45 years in voluntary roles throughout Kahungunu, Hawke’s Bay and Heretaunga districts generously sharing his knowledge of kaupapa Māori with schools, local government, marae, hapū, and in the fields of justice and health.
Vivien (Viv) Brown – Involved with Hastings Lions for many years, Vic was also instrumental in creating and continues to organise the annual Young Achievers event that recognises Hastings Year 13 students who have achieved in academia, sports, arts and community services. She also supports the Re-Source charity in Hastings.
Traci Tuimaseve – Traci is a highly respected member of the Flaxmere community who volunteers his time on boards, committees, groups and going above and beyond anywhere else he can support community and whānau wellbeing.
Ruiha Tiakina Erueti Woodward (Nanny Nana) – Ruiha is a long-standing advocate of the kōhanga reo movement, and has dedicated a large part of her life to the revitalisation of te reo Māori since the establishment of the Te Kōhanga Reo o Poukawa ki Kahurānaki in 1983.
Christina McBeth – One of the co-founders of the food rescue project Nourished for Nil, Christina has put in countless hours since it launched in 2017, preventing enormous amount of food waste going to landfill, and filling many tummies at the same time.
Lara Ventura – A dynamic chair of the Philippine community of Hawke’s Bay, Lara has untiringly supported Filipinos in activities ranging from sports competitions to women’s development, health forums, and networking with other Hawke’s Bay organisations.
Ross Webb – The sport of rowing, both local and national, has benefitted hugely from the countless voluntary hours Ross has given to coaching and supporting younger and adult, male and female, rowers.
Julie Hart – Julie has volunteered both locally and nationally for Women’s Refuge since she first started with Hastings Women’s Refuge in 1994, dedicating time, commitment and leadership to help support and empower women and children who have been affected by family violence.
Edward ‘Joe’ Simmons – Joe has dedicated more than 50 years to the Maraekākaho Volunteer Fire Brigade and been a rural controller responsible for heading up the brigade for a number of years. His leadership has meant the brigade has been sustained and enhanced over the years.
Barbara Walker – Lead chaplain at Hawke’s Bay Hospital from 2009 to 2021, Barbara has also given much on a voluntary basis, such as advocating for staff and patients 24/7, initiating and holding ANZAC Day services at the hospital, fundraising, and spearheading the Memorial Garden.
Ave Faka’osi – After spending years volunteering to support Pasifika learner drivers to gain their licence, Ave has now shaped and delivers a targeted drivers licence initiative for Pasifika people, in addition to many other voluntary activities in the community.
Ron Wilkins – The contributions Ron has made to his community are many and varied through his long service with the Grey Power organisation, supporting and advocating for older people.
Tofilau Talaleli Taufale – Tofilau has provided passionate leadership and worked tirelessly for the Pasifika community over many years, including but not limited to being a trustee of the HB Youth Futures Trust and being the lead for USO Hawke’s Bay.
Kevin Hodges – For 23 years Kevin has contributed to the community through fighting rural fires, and also raising record-breaking amounts of money for cancer support in the Firefighter Sky Tower Challenge, and conducting search and rescue operations.
10 August 2022
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