A large contingent of Bay of Plenty Surf Life Saving members are up for national awards in the upcoming 2016 Surf Life Saving New Zealand Awards of Excellence.

Every year, national and local awards are given to Surf Life Saving members to officially recognise them for their hard work and dedication to saving lives and preventing drowning on New Zealand's beaches.

Local finalists include Christiaan Maahuis of Waihi Beach and Shaun Smith of Papamoa who are up for the NZ Lottery Grants Board Lifeguard of the Year award, Donal Boyle of Omanu and Susan Stewart of Waihi Beach who are DHL Volunteer of the Year finalists, Waihi Beach who are up for the Wood Group Training First Aid Award, DHL Instructor of the Year finalists Lucy Scown of Waihi Beach and Garry King of Mount Maunganui, Ross Merrett of Papamoa for Surf Official of the Year, and Matt Cairns of Papamoa for Coach of the Year.

Most awards are nominated locally with winners from their regional Awards of Excellence ceremonies then becoming finalists for the national Awards of Excellence.


The 2016 national awards will be held at the Heritage Hotel in Auckland on Saturday.

The full list of 2016 Awards of Excellence finalists:

NZLGB Lifeguard of the Year
Ollie Irwin, Bethells Beach
Christiaan Maahuis, Waihi Beach
Shaun Smith, Papamoa
Michelle Mitchell, Waikanae
James Laver, Waimarama
David Bentley, East End
Isacc Hyde, Otaki
Craig Jamieson, Taylors Mistake
Nic Brice, St Kilda

DHL Volunteer of the Year
Joanne Hobson, Port Waikato Sunset Beach
Donal Boyle, Omanu
Susan Stewart, Waihi Beach
Calum Wilson, Waikanae
Jess Bennett, Ocean Beach Kiwi
Joanne Brimelow, Fitzroy
Justine Fleming, Otaki
Blair Quane, Sumner
Owen West, Oreti

BP Rescue of the Year
April 16- Muriwai - surfers saved from rip
March 28- Pauanui - overturned vessel
February 21- Bethells Beach - swimmer saved from rip
January 31- Capital Coast event safety team- resuscitation of Ocean Swim Series competitor
December 29- Tairua - resuscitation of elderly swimmer
November 24- Piha, Red Beach and Northern Region Beach Education team- off duty rescue of young girl found face down.

Wood Group Training First Aid Award
Capital Coast event safety team
Omaha, Bethells Beach and Kariaotahi
Waihi Beach

DHL Instructor of the Year
Faron Turner, Orewa
Lucy Scown, Waihi Beach
Garry King, Mt Maunganui
John Minogue, Wainui
Brian Quirk, Westshore
Michael Corkill, Opunake
Sam Richardson, Lyall Bay
Tom Denman, Sumner
Alex Sutherland, Brighton

DHL Innovation of the Year
Tony Pattison, Hawke's Bay
Taranaki Lifesaving Committee, Taranaki
Waimairi ATV, Canterbury
Max Corboy, Otago

Surf Official of the Year
Johnny Clough, United North Piha
Ross Merrett, Papamoa
Debbie Hutchings, Waikanae
Denys Carpenter, Pacific
Brian Velvin, Fitzroy
Teri Anderson, Paekakariki
Graeme Trevor, North Beach
Doug Henderson, Kaka Point

Coach of the Year
Shane Edwards, Sunset Beach
Matt Cairns, Papamoa
Cory Hutchings & Dion Williams, Waikanae/Wainui
Cain Jefferson, Westshore
Ron Cole, Fitzroy
Shane Radovanovich, Paekakariki
Janice Murdoch & Mark Robberds, Waimairi/Sumner
Michael Trembath, St Clair