Local charity Whareroa Guardians Community Trust has won several awards at the Wellington Airport Regional Community Awards.
It was the Supreme winner at the Kāpiti-based awards, and also won in the Heritage and Environment category, before going on to win the category again at the regional awards, which consisted of the whole Greater Wellington.
Each of those awards came with a $1000 prize, totalling $3000, which the Guardians’ Ann Evans said would help the group immensely.
She said the money would go a long way in helping to fund a lot more native plants, but winning the award was also really exciting for the group.
“It’s really nice for our work to be recognised.”
Whareroa Guardians Community Trust won its category and was selected as this year’s Supreme Winner at the Kāpiti community awards, which were held at Te Raukura ki Kāpiti.
After its win there, the trust and the other category winners went forward to represent Kāpiti in the Regional Community Awards, where the Guardians went on to win in the Heritage and Environment category again.
Whareroa Guardians Community Trust fosters community conservation projects in Kāpiti, by working to improve native biodiversity throughout the coast on land and sea by enhancing environmental restoration efforts, funding and managing biodiversity projects, providing opportunities for public participation, advocacy and education.
Kāpiti District Mayor Janet Holborow said it was important to recognise the people who often worked behind the scenes to make our community better.
“I don’t think anyone who commits their time, energy and skills to community work does it for an award, but that’s precisely why they deserve one.
“These awards are an opportunity to really appreciate the unsung heroes of Kāpiti and shine a light on how much effort is being made by so many people in so many areas.
“We are so fortunate to have them here. Whether it’s helping run a sports club, improving the environment, advocating for others, or keeping our arts sector buzzing, our amazing volunteer community all have one thing in common — they make life better for people.”
Wellington Airport brand and sponsorship manager Jo Maxwell said the airport was proud to celebrate the outstanding work of community groups in Kāpiti during the past 12 months. “These groups do amazing work to help others in the community and thoroughly deserve recognition for this.”
The Whareroa Guardians Community Trust was formed in 2007, and comprises volunteers.
Whareroa Farm is owned by the Crown and is managed by the Department of Conservation, and the Guardians have an agreement with it to work there.
Since starting in 2007, the Guardians have planted more than 50,000 natives, most of them trees, and have just started planting in the wetlands too.
They have about 100 volunteers each year, and all together they do about 4000 hours of planting each year.
Full list of award winners in Kāpiti awards:
Supreme Award — Whareroa Guardians Community Trust
Arts and Culture — winner Paekākāriki Pride, runner-up Kāpiti Art Studio
Education and Child/Youth Development — winner Volunteer Kāpiti, runner-up Ōtaki Market (Kids Market)
Health and Wellbeing — winner Kāpiti Community Foodbank, runner-up Kāpiti Kindness Trust
Heritage and Environment — winner Whareroa Guardians Community Trust, runner-up Discover Kāpiti Heritage Group
Sports and Leisure — winner Kāpiti Boating Club, runner-up Kāapiti Underwater Club
Rising Star — Kāpiti Kindness Trust