The history, architecture, public art and landscape projects that enhance and make the Hastings district unique have been recognised at the 2019 Landmarks Trust Awards.
Held every two years, the winners of this year's awards were announced at an awards function on Thursday and included a range of projects carried out by both individuals and groups.
The top award – the Jeremy Dwyer Award for Excellence – went to the Maraetotara Tree Trust for the Maraetotara River Regeneration project.
Started 17 years ago, the river had been degraded from livestock pollution, willow tree infestation and a general lack of care and protection of its margins.
This degradation was reversed in under 10 years thanks to the dedicated work conducted by the trust including fencing, willow removal (in partnership with the regional council) and replanting of native trees.
The vision is to establish a lush corridor the full length of the river improving the ecosystem and establishing permanent reserved habitats for regenerating native plants, birds and wildlife.
Taking out the Art in Public Spaces award was the Cape Coast Arts and Heritage Trust for Te Matau a Maui Art and Heritage Trail, part of the trust's wider aim to preserve and promote the history of the Cape Coast and develop and support its arts, culture and creativity.
The first stage of the trail was the installation of eight marker posts/discovery panels between Black Bridge, Haumoana and Clifton, and in December 2018, the first landscape artwork created by local artists Amy Lynch and Riks Terstappen was opened to the public beside the Haumoana Hall.
Their sculpture "Elixir of Life" was highly commended in this category, as were: Heretaunga Women's Centre for their suffrage mosaic mural, Havelock North Business Association for the Girl on a Swing and Boy in Tyre sculptures, Cinzah Merkens for his Te Haaro o te Kahu ki Tuawhakarere mural, JiL of Aotearoa for her Tūrangawaewae mural, and Stan Mans for his Cornwall Park murals.
The winner of the Landscape category was the Te Mata Park Trust Board for its improvements to its carpark, shelter and toilet facilities, whose design drew from the surrounding natural environment, and whose location offered awe-inspiring views.
Highly commended in this category were: Joan Ruffell for the beautification of Duart House and Gardens, St Andrew's Presbyterian Church for its community park/garden, and the Tainui Care Group for the community planting at Tainui Reserve.
The community group Focus MKK won the History category with its contribution to the beautification of the Maraekakaho War Memorial Site on the intersection of Kereru Rd and State Highway 50.
Enhancements, some of which included the wider community, included the planting of 600 plants around the cenotaph and intersection, the installation of 60 timber bollards to aid parking, and the installation of a historic story board.
Historian Michael Fowler was highly commended in this category for his book Historic Hawke's Bay.
The environmentally friendly Mod House designed by architect duo John and Nikki McNamara took out the Architecture category.
This timber framed house was built on a small site in Hastings and achieves a Homestar 6 rating, and being modular can be configured to suit different sites and orientations and complies with the principals of ecological sustainability.
Finally, five buildings were highly commended for the façade enhancements that had taken place, transforming the frontages with new vibrant colour schemes.
They were: 109 Heretaunga St East (Chona and David Walker), 117-119 Queen St East (The Donelly Family Trust), 105 Heretaunga St East (Wallace Property Company Ltd), 215 Heretaunga St East (FL Bone & Son Ltd), 308 Heretaunga St East (United Friendly Societies Association).