A farmer, a lifesaver, an advocate and a Rotarian have been awarded this year's top civic honour in Whangarei.

Kelvin Attwood, Linda Melville, Audrey Trimmer and Maxine Neighbour were announced as 2017 Civic Honour Award winners at a special ceremony last night.

Friends, family members, the mayor and councillors and other local dignitaries were in attendance.

A Maungakaramea farmer, Mr Attwood"s contribution to his area spans many community projects and countless voluntary hours, at the school, local hall, sports grounds and anything in between.


He lends his hand to everything from helping to roof a building, driving in a fence post, pouring concrete, coaching kids at sport to lighting the barbecue at an after-match function.

He has been on the Maungakaramea Recreation Society committee for 35 years and was on the Maungakaramea School board, and involved in hockey circles - including as Whangarei JMC Hockey chairman - for a number of years.

Ms Melville is loved and respected throughout the Bland Bay and wider Whangaruru Harbour community.

She has been part of a "dream-team" who were always on hand to help at local marae functions. As well, she and husband Ray volunteered as coastguard radio operators.

She was instrumental in setting up the Whangaruru First Aid Emergency Trust and helping it to expand - she attends hundreds of callouts a year.

Ms Trimmer has been a vocal advocate for a range of social justice issues.

She was involved with the Country Women's Institute and has spent more than 50 years with the Whangarei Women's Club, as well as being the local president of the National Council of Women.

She volunteered with the NZ Blind Foundation, spending 30 years with Reading for the Blind, compiling and recording news for blind people, and has played an integral role in St Johns Golden Church for 40 years.

Ms Neighbour is a long-time union representative who lobbied successfully for improved working conditions for school support staff nationally.

Her contribution spans to include Special Olympics, Okau Swimming Club, Pataua Ratepayers Association and the National Council of Women, People Potential and Angel Flight.

She has played a key role in many rotary projects in Whangarei and been the president of Whangarei South Rotary Club, as well as the district secretary and district governor.

A Civic Honour Award is the highest honour a council can bestow on a resident, and recognise people who have made a significant contribution to the district.