Tararua Federation of Women's Institute members collected a top award at the annual New Zealand Federation of Women's Institutes conference in Wellington.
It was the Avis Rishworth Innovation Award and was one of several awards the federation and individual members won.
To win the Avis Rishworth Innovation Award was an outstanding achievement for Tararua which has only seven institutes. This was the first time Tararua has won award.
The project the award was presented for was the federation's initiative in holding a district expo.
The original idea came from Rua Roa members Rosemary Moss and Dianne St Merat who had organised a Welcome Wagon morning tea the previous year.
From this they had noticed that many newcomers to Tararua had trouble accessing information about clubs and organisations.
After positive feedback from the Welcome Wagon it was decided to expand the concept and hold an expo in the Dannevirke Town Hall.
The expo had the support of the Tararua federation because it was in keeping with the Women's Institute theme of share the friendship - teach a skill.
It also had huge support from Tararua District Council because it tied in with the 30th anniversary of the formation of the district. Support for the project from within the community was huge.
The expo took place on April 16 with 72 organisations represented and WI members supplied 300 scones and endless cups of tea.
The event raised $600 which was donated to Search and Rescue.
On being named winner of the award Tararua was congratulated on the expo as were Rosemary and Dianne for coming up with the idea.
"It was very well planned from start to finish, great to get so much media coverage, which helped to bring in the crowd."
The strength of Rua Roa institute was emphasised when it was awarded the EJ Sawyer Trophy for the institute with the biggest increase in membership.
The Sudley Trophy was also presented to Tararua for the best annual report which was written by Rua Roa member Helen Monteith.
Hukanui-Hamua WI member Elaine Dougherty won a silver tray for a fabric brooch she entered in a national competition in which there were 29 entries.
Rua Roa member Jocelyn McKay was third in this competition with a hand towel and face cloth she embroidered.
Each year the New Zealand federation has a sustainability project and this year members have been making and giving away shopping bags.
Institutes also fundraise for the community and following last year's craft show Tararua federation donated $400 to Riding for the Disabled.
This year's craft show on October 16 and 17, which will be the 70th, will raise money for Women's Refuge.