A group of volunteers who made a feature film, has been named the Supreme Winner at the Trustpower Western Bay of Plenty Community Awards.

More than 90 people gathered at Comvita last night for the announcement of the winners of this year's community awards, which were presented by Western Bay of Plenty Mayor Ross Paterson and Trustpower chief executive Vince Hawksworth.

The Supreme Awards went to CommonUnity Productions, which was the team behind the Z Nail Gang movie.

Mr Paterson said CommonUnity Productions perfected the art of rallying a community to get in behind a project that everyone felt a sense of ownership in. "The Z Nail Gang is not only an outstanding production but a fantastic example of what can be achieved when tapping the potential of a community that has a huge amount of talent and pride," Mr Paterson said.


Trustpower community relations representative Jess Somerville said the movie was crafted on a shoestring budget and was made possible thanks to goodwill of the Te Puke community. "This award-winning feature film tells the true story of the Coromandel mining protests during the 1980s, and how a tiny, disjointed community unified to stand against authority and against all odds, won. They did not employ conventional actors for this film and the majority of key crew and extra roles were filled by around 400 Te Puke volunteers.

"With the opportunity to be part of something big, many individuals, families, organisations and businesses took up the opportunity to be involved in this project.

She said every volunteer's strength was celebrated. "Community groups such as the Scouts, Rotary, Wetlands Society and a local ukulele band all had a role to play. Whether it was second hand clothes for the wardrobe, venues, props or first aid support, local organisations got right behind this project."

Forty-five entries were received for this year's awards. For winning the Supreme Award, CommonUnity Productions received a framed certificate, a trophy and $1500 prize money.

The winners
Heritage and Environment: Waihi Beach Environment Society Inc.

Health and Wellbeing: Omokoroa Community Policing Group Charitable Trust

Arts and Culture: Waihi Beach Community Events and Promotions

Sport and Leisure: TECT Pongakawa - The Action Centre

Education and Child/Youth Development: Katikati Community Resource Centre Inc

Youth Spirit: Rikayla Richardson

Supreme Winner: CommonUnity Productions

- The Z Nail Gang