Rotorua Leadership Awards winners

Twenty-one people have been honoured with Rotorua Community Leadership Awards, receiving them at a ceremony at the Rotorua District Council chambers last night. The awards were created by Rotorua Mayor Kevin Winters, The Daily Post, the Rotorua Chamber of Commerce and Rotorua Trust to celebrate the Sir Peter Blake Trust leadership week. Awards were presented for leadership in various areas including the arts, iwi, youth, business, community service, sport and environment.

Eru George

Eru George is the chairman of Te Pumautanga O Te Arawa Trust, a post-settlement governance entity for 11 Te Arawa iwi and hapu. Eru was originally on the Kaihautu Executive Council (KEC) which commenced negotiations with the Crown, and led the KEC from the signing of the Agreement in Principle in 2004 through four years of negotiation to signing the Deed of Settlement, which settled the historical Treaty of Waitangi grievances of its 11 affiliates, iwi and hapu in 2008.

Eru and Rawiri Te Whare have led Te Pumautanga O Te Arawa to a new level of governance, democracy and post-settlement governance for the 11 iwi and hapu that are affiliated to Te Pumautanga O Te Arawa. As well as chairing Te Pumautanga O Te Arawa, Eru is a director on Te Arawa Group Holdings Ltd and CNI Iwi Holdings Ltd.

He is also chairman of Te Runanga O Ngati Kea Ngati Tuara Iwi Trust. Eru is employed as Pou Herenga at Lakes District Health Board.

Tuhipo Kereopa

Tuhipo has taken the lead role in the development and restoration of both Mara Kai at Ohinemutu. She has encouraged and supported schools to get involved, which include Rotorua Primary School and Kaitao Middle School. The Ohinemutu team under the leadership of Tuhipo, have plans to use the space as a place to teach and share the importance of caring for the environment from a Maori perspective.

Rotorua Primary School was involved, in partnership with Bay of Plenty Regional Council and the Hannahs Bay Community Restoration Trust, in putting the first floating wetlands down in Ohinemutu. By acting, she hopes to inspire those around her.

Tuhipo also supports community organisations such as the Alcohol and Drug Rehabilitation Unit to see the value in working "papatuanuku" as part of a pathway to healing.

Jocelyn Callaghan

Jocelyn has done a lot of work for the community, either through sports, schools or iwi. She has dedicated 30 years to netball, from being a player, coach and a supporter. She has helped many kids in netball, from primary age to high school level, to coaching representative teams.

Jocelyn is also passionate for her iwi and has given a lot to kapa haka, both in Mataatua as well as Te Arawa, through the secondary schools. Jocelyn is a hard working lady, and a leader in her own right.

Ian Edward

Ian Edward has a passion for the arts and the interest of his community running through his veins. From an early age, Ian has shown leadership qualities that have enabled him to bring many wonderful dreams to reality for the benefit of the Rotorua community. He has led many organisations in the chairmanship role, including the Rotorua Competitions Society, the Lakeside Concert Charitable Trust, and has also played a leading part for over 20 years in the New Zealand Aria (formerly the Lockwood Aria).

Ian has been a supporter of the Rotorua Boys and Girls High School productions, sharing his services and knowledge to achieve optimum results and to ensure students are given every opportunity to perform at their best.

Ian has played a leading role in securing many musical events, bringing top artists and performers to Rotorua. The most recent of these was Dame Kiri Te Kanawa's recital, which was her sole public performance in New Zealand in 2012.

Ian has been a long-time member of the Rotorua Competitions Society and is a renowned singer with the Edward Brothers, who give many charitable performances.

Ian shows outstanding leadership pursuing an interest in the arts for the benefit of people in the Rotorua district.

Barbara Cook

Barbara Cook has shown leadership by forming the Rotorua Creative Arts Trust that was the vehicle used to produce the annual Rotorua Wearable Creationz, which run over three days and attract hundreds of people, and more recently the Art Exhibition which is run in conjunction with the main event.

Through her vision, these awards provide our community with an event that has a reputation for excellence, diversity, culture, innovation and personal growth of the participants. The event is an opportunity to empower talented creative young people to reach their potential, whether they are part of the creation and construction team or whether they are the models.

It has also provided an opportunity for seniors to participate in their own creative project.

The Rotorua Wearable Creationz was the winner of the art and culture sector of the TrustPower Spirit of Rotorua Awards and went on to become the regional supreme winner. Rotorua has benefited enormously from Barbara's time, hard work and leadership with the support of a small dedicated team who have been with her from the start, and have helped create an iconic event that has brought a new artistic dimension to the district.

Daphne Christophers

Daphne Christophers has had a profound influence on music and the arts in Rotorua for more than 60 years. She has been instrumental in the formation, fundraising and setting up of a number of activities relating to music. Some of these programmes are still running after many years.

Daphne has also organised and played at many fundraising concerts that have benefited a wide range of people and organisations. She assisted with the formation of the Rotorua Registered Teachers' Association and was chairwoman for seven years. She also ran the Yamaha music school in Rotorua as head instructor for 15 years.

Daphne has taken a leadership role in accompanying and teaching many hundreds of singers over her lifetime. She has also made a commitment to school productions, musical theatre, citizenship ceremonies, funerals, weddings, church and Anzac Day services and fundraising concerts.

Daphne has shown outstanding leadership and made a significant contribution to the Rotorua community for more than 60 years.

Margaret Huta

Margaret Huta is an articulate young woman of Maori and Samoan descent who exemplifies the attributes of our leaders of the future. She has a strong sense of her cultural identity, which provides the foundation for her to move confidently within any arena she finds herself in.

Margaret is the student representative on the Rotorua Girls' High School Board of Trustees. She is meeting the challenge of this role with resounding success and it has enabled her to assume other roles with the school. Those other roles include executive committee member on the Kahui Rangatahi (Maori Student Council), senior management member of the Student Council, co-chair of Interact, deputy house captain for Hinemoa House and Pacific Island group co-leader.

Margaret's strength and determination form the foundation for her general approach to life. She inspires leadership in others and is not afraid to assume a leadership role where necessary.

Margaret's strong sense of identity and passion for her culture is expressed through the performing arts. She has been a key member of the Pacific Island Group and encourages the girls to strengthen their sense of identity.

Her passion for performing arts is also evident in her participation in Stage Challenge events and school productions, being both an enthusiastic participant and helping behind the scenes.

Shaquille Graham

Shaquille Graham is head boy at Rotorua Boys' High School, captain of the 1st XI soccer team and 1st XI cricket team and member of the 2012 Youth Advisory Committee. In his spare time Shaquille regularly referees junior RBHS soccer teams. He is an excellent sportsman in both soccer and cricket. A capable leader with the ability to talk to all people and listen to their problems. Shaquille is a down-to-earth, humble natural leader and an all-round great youth role model.

Riley Gilbert-Burne

Riley Gilbert-Burne is the deputy head girl at Rotorua Girls' High School.

She portrays excellent leadership skills working with Year 9 students in their peer support programme on the transition into school, presenting modules on peer pressure, respect for themselves and others, anti-bullying and values. She is creative in her school assembly speeches which encourage leadership and enthusiasm from the whole school community.

Riley participates in inter-house competitions, swimming and athletic sports with great energy and commitment. She is also a keen snow skier, waterskier and water polo player where she is co-captain, while mentoring and coaching some of the younger players at the same time. Riley is currently the Waikato/Bay of Plenty junior waterskiing champion and is a current national finalist. She is the Bay of Plenty champion for snow skiing and is a New Zealand snow skiing instructor. She is the Rotorua Girls' High School 1st XI football captain and was a team member of the Rotorua Girls' High School adventure race in 2011 which competed at the Sir Edmund Hilary Outdoor Pursuits Centre.

In addition, Riley is a member of the Rotorua Youth Council and is actively promoting youth activities and interests within our school and the wider community. She is a member of the school's student council, is a Jubilee Scholar who recently received her second year gold badge.

Riley has been a dancer in the Stage Challenge for the past five years, taking a choreography leadership role in the production team. The school's entry came third this year. Riley is able to work with a wide range of people of all ages and cultures, and shows great communication skills within these different groups.

Judith Stanway

Judith is a professional businesswoman who has excelled in both the corporate and not-for-profit sector. While her day-to-day role involves working with many not-for-profit businesses, charities, and Maori trusts, she has also lectured across the North Island to various universities and polytechnics including Waiariki Institute of Technology. Currently she is the managing partner of BDO Rotorua Ltd, Chartered Accountants and Advisers, and sits on the boards of BDO New Zealand, Charities Commission and Scion.

She has extensive governance and charitable experience in her numerous roles.

Judith has been chairwoman of Lakeland Health Ltd, deputy chairwoman of the New Zealand Maori Arts & Crafts Institute (now Te Puia), chairwoman of BDO New Zealand, and trustee on the Lakeside Charitable Trust. She is president of the Rotary Club of Rotary Sunrise and has been instrumental in turning the club's financial situation from a loss to a positive balance.

Her biggest achievement during her presidency was overseeing the establishment of Charity's - a not-for-profit shop based on Tutanekai St. Proceeds go to community organisations within Rotorua and recently made its first donations of $8000 to Parkside Community Centre and the Life Education Trust. This initiative received recognition from the Rotary District Governor and Rotary International.

Another successful initiative under her presidency was the Topp Twins show in Rotorua that raised $28,000 for Rotorua Breast Cancer Trust and Rotorua Hospice.

Judith is committed to both business and community in Rotorua.

Peter Duncan

Peter Duncan is an innovative individual and displays great leadership inspiring those who come into contact with him. Having started his own business The Wedding Guy, Peter has developed many workshops that have inspired and encouraged others to expand their own boundaries, and added considerable value to his clients.

Peter not only practices what he teaches, but also motivates others to become better business people, and leads by example. He encourages and supports others in business and truly believes in others and encourages them to be the best they can be. The wedding business in Rotorua has grown under his enthusiasm and guidance, involving all sectors of the community who either have, or could have some input into the industry. He has developed a lot of what is in the local market and is about to instigate other initiatives that will enhance the wedding industry.

The recent Hitched wedding expo at the Rotorua Convention Centre was a huge success.

Margriet Theron

Margriet for many years has been on numerous committees and trusts for the betterment of the Rotorua business community and the wider community.

On contract to the Economic Development Unit of the Rotorua District Council, she was co-ordinator for Rotorua, Taupo and Turangi of the business mentoring scheme of Business Mentors New Zealand. She was also a member of the Rotorua Air Quality Working Group set up the Bay of Plenty Regional Council to develop an action plan to address Rotorua's air pollution problems.

Margriet is the longest-serving member of the Executive of the Rotorua Chamber of Commerce, having held this position for more than a decade. She has been the president of the chamber, and the chairwoman of the advocacy committee.

Through her membership of the Rotorua Multicultural Council, discussions were started on the need for the chamber to provide appropriate business support and networking services to the migrant business community of Rotorua. New Zealand's first Multicultural Business Council, with Margriet as a member of the management committee, was set up about three years ago.

For the past 10 years Margriet has been a trustee and chairwoman of the finance committee of Speech New Zealand, the speech and drama examination board based in Wellington. She has also held other roles including deputy chairwoman of the Geyser Community Foundation and representative of the South African community on the executive of the Rotorua Multicultural Council for many years. Margriet has sustained her contribution to the greater good for all people over a long period of time.

Raymond Cook

Raymond Cook has been nominated for his selfless attitude and huge leadership contribution in a voluntary capacity over many years.

Raymond is described as an honest, loving, compassionate and gentle role model. He has served the community tirelessly for over 20 years in many ways, but in particularly supporting youth, working for disadvantaged people and helping to keep our community safe. He is also famous for sharing his love and knowledge of rock-and-roll with the children of Sunset Primary School and Fordlands. He is a well-respected Maori warden, known to work 12-16 hour days and walking great distances to and from events. His contributions are even more remarkable, given his own health issues of late.

Raymond puts the needs of others ahead of his own and he leads by example as the first to respond to calls for help.

Tim Walsh

Tim Walsh has been nominated for the tremendous voluntary support he has provided to Rotorua's Police and Victim Support staff over many years.

Tim can be found down at the Rotorua police station most days of the week, supporting staff, helping with counter inquiries and monitoring the street cameras to help ensure Rotorua is safe for all to enjoy. With this nomination, we get two for the price of one - Tim's partner, Jeanette Brown, regularly sends him off to work with a stash of delicious cakes and muffins in his bag, especially on days when it's known staff will be stretched and eating on the run.

Tim happily turns up to work even on Christmas Day and New Year's Day public holidays.

Tim and Jeanette are conspicuous as leaders among Rotorua's many unsung heroes.

Mamaeroa Merito

Mamaeroa Merito is a Year 13 prefect and a member of the Rotorua Girls' High School executive committee for Kahui Rangatahi (Maori Student Council). She is a highly respected and talented young Maori woman described as epitomising the qualities and attributes of someone with the world at her fingertips, yet still grounded in strong family and community values.

Throughout her years at RGHS she has been involved in various activities which include the school debating team, Stage Challenge and Raukura. Mamaeroa was in the line-up of the school kapa haka team that won two regional competitions and placed second nationally.

Her most prominent community achievement to date is in relation to her work with Kia Piki te Ora - a suicide prevention organisation committed to raising awareness among youth around issues related to suicide. Last year, Mamaeroa designed a special wristband for use as a suicide prevention tool in Rotorua. This wristband has since gained interest nationally.

Mamaeroa is a recipient of a 2012 Rotorua District Community Award in the youth section and is described as an outstanding role model for her peers.

Grant Utteridge

Grant has demonstrated a huge passion and commitment to sport in Rotorua at a number of levels. He is a commercial property valuer and company director who lives in Rotorua with his wife, Colleen, and two teenage sons.

Since an early age, Grant has had a huge love for sport. Having recognised the immense benefits of being active, he has taken part in a wide range of sports at various levels, particularly squash, triathlon and cricket.

Grant has always had a strong belief in re-investing in sport and has contributed extensively in various sports at a coaching and administrative level. These include the Geyser City Squash Club, RATS Triathlon Club, and he is currently chairman of Sport Bay of Plenty.

Grant has wide sports administration experience for a large spectrum of sporting organisations, having chaired local and regional sports. Grant brings management experience and a passion for healthy active living to the board of Sport Bay of Plenty and is a true leader of sport.

Mary Thompson

Mary has made an incredible contribution to the administration of netball, not only within the Rotorua Netball Centre for over 35 years, but also to the Waikato Bay of Plenty Netball franchise as a board member for five years and Netball Bay of Plenty as president of the union for two years and the entity for three years. She has received recognition as a volunteer administrator by winning the Service to Sport Award at the ASB Bank Bay of Plenty Sports Awards in 2011. She also received a Netball Bay of Plenty Service Award in 2001, a Netball New Zealand Service Award in 2003 and a Netball Bay of Plenty Life membership in 2011.

These awards, while recognition for long and outstanding service, reflect the many roles Mary has had and the work she has done for netball.

Mary deserves special mention for the leading role she has played in the organisation of the Kurangaituku Tournament for 32 years.

The leadership of the day-to-day running of netball in Rotorua has been Mary's responsibility since 1980 and this has been as a volunteer administrator in a centre that runs matches for close to 3000 players each Saturday. Following her day at work she goes to the centre and deals with the mail and other duties so necessary for the smooth running of netball each week. In her time she has led the shift of netball in Rotorua from Kuirau Park to the Westbrook complex and overseen the set-up of netball in the new location.

Mary also played an integral role in the development of Rotorua's Energy Events Centre from a netball perspective, and when Waikato/Bay of Plenty Magic come to town, Mary is front and centre.

Ray Watson

Ray has recently been appointed to an important leadership role of Central Bay of Plenty Junior Advisory Board (JAB) chairman.

Formerly chief executive of the Lakes District Health Board, Ray is now turning his skills to improving rugby in Rotorua.

Ray has re-invigorated junior rugby in Rotorua by providing great leadership, while also gaining buy-in from clubs, coaches, referees and administrators with a shared vision, backed up with excellent planning and organisation.

This has led to improved behaviour on sidelines and, most importantly, greater participation.

Rotorua JAB Rugby sees hundreds of boys and girls playing every Saturday at Ray Boord Park. It is a sight to behold to see so many youngsters playing rugby and thanks go to the likes of Ray Watson for his commitment to rugby in Rotorua.

Bay of Plenty Rugby are very pleased to have the calibre of volunteer such as Ray and believe he deserves to be recognised.

Warren Webber

Warren has recently been elected as a life member of the Lakeswater Quality Society and has served in a voluntary capacity as a committee member since 2001 with particular input to the Scientific Symposia subcommittee and was the organiser of the logistics of seven symposia from 2001-2011 which have been highly effective in promoting the application of evidence-based science to the challenges of water quality in the Rotorua Te Arawa lakes. He is the founding editor of the annually published LakesNews newsletter which has been widely distributed to the Rotorua community in the last three years and has improved community awareness and understanding of lake water quality issues.

He was part of the Waiora Agreement subcommittee. The Waiora Agreement is a formal undertaking between farmers and the Lakeswater Quality Society which aims to influence regional policy and the implementation of nutrient leaching mitigation within the Lake Rotorua catchment.

Warren has also been a Lake Rotoiti Community Association committee member for the past two years and prior to that seconded to the Consents subcommittee. Warren has been a primary advocate for LRCA throughout the negotiation of consent renewals for the Okere Gates and Ohau Weir, which minimises lake and river margin erosion.

In an employed position at the Waiariki Institute of Technology, Warren has over the last two years project-managed the establishment of the Waiariki Centre of Excellence in Environmental Sustainability.

Harvey James

Harvey is the owner of Waimangu Thermal Valley. He has been a major influence on the development of that natural resource area and as a result has gained a number of environmental and sustainability awards.

Harvey has been the champion for the Rotorua Sustainable Charter and this year a leading force behind the Rotorua Business Sustainable Charter.

Debbie Stewart

As a founder of Wingspan Birds of Prey Trust at Ngongotaha, Debbie has spent the last 20 years devoted to saving the New Zealand falcon from extinction.

Wingspan Birds of Prey Trust is now open to the public and it is gaining worldwide momentum as a Rotorua attraction and conservation project. Under Debbie's wing, New Zealand falcons are born, bred and released into Kaingaroa Forest in a desperate bid to save one of New Zealand's rarest birds.

Daily displays show the public the wonders and importance of keeping the birds alive. Through Debbie's passion, leadership of Wingspan and commitment to falcons, the New Zealand karearea may finally be saved from extinction. Wingspan Birds of Prey has also been a winner of the TrustPower Spirit of Rotorua Awards and represented Rotorua at the national TrustPower Community Awards.


- Rotorua Daily Post

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