A Justice of the Peace, a policeman, a vet and an environmental champion have been recognised for their tireless efforts in Whangārei communities.

Fay Colthurst, Russell Rawiri, Warren Daniel and Pamela Stevens have been given a Civic Honour Award, the highest honour the Whangārei District Council can bestow on its citizens.

Civic Honours Committee chairwoman councillor Crichton Christie said each one has done "more in a lifetime than could ever realistically be expected".

Colthurst, Rawiri and Daniel received their awards in a ceremony on Wednesday night. Stevens was unable to attend but was presented with her award in a ceremony last week.


Fay Colthurst - broad reaching service to the Whangārei community

Colthurst moved to Whangārei in 1970 and picked up where she had left off in the communities she had previously lived in around the North Island.

She was a member of the Whangārei Rugby Junior and Intermediate Management boards, the Judicial Panel for Teenage Rugby and the Horahora and Matarau Primary and Kamo High School Parent Teacher associations.

She was appointed a Justice of the Peace in 1982, and a Judicial JP in 1984. She served on the Whangārei and County and Whangārei and District JP associations, with stints as president on both. She is now the president of the Northland JP Association.

Colthurst has been awarded the Thomas Kendall Award for her services as a JP.

In 20 years as a marriage celebrant, she has officiated at 574 weddings.

Colthurst has been involved with North Haven Hospice since 2000 as a volunteer, board member and chairwoman.

She also had a leadership role at the Kamo Rugby Club in the 1970s which saw the addition of the squash club. She served as president and has been made a life member.


Russell Rawiri - contribution to the wellbeing of the people of Hikurangi

Born in Rawene, raised in Waimamaku, Rawiri left Northland in his teens but returned as a policeman with his family in 1983.

He was the major force behind the introduction of the marae drivers' licensing programme, over 70s driver testing in Hikurangi and established rural and Neighbourhood Watch groups.

Rawiri was a member of the New Zealand Volunteer Fire Service for nine years and created a Fire Police Unit to assist the fire brigade with traffic and crowd control.

He was an original member of the Waro Lake Project group - taking leave from work to drive a truck carting fill from the quarry to the lake for the track and parking area.

Rawiri has a close relationship with Hikurangi Primary School, provides tae kwon do lessons for the community, and is vice chairman of the Hikurangi RSA.

He attends meetings of community groups, including the Hikurangi Business Association to provide information about making Hikurangi a safer place.

Rawiri is also a respected member of the Hikurangi Friendship House Charitable Trust.

Warren Daniel - outstanding contribution to the Ruakākā and One Tree Point communities

Daniel was the local vet at Ruakākā for 30 years but still found time to be involved in community activities.

In 1968 he helped the struggling Ruakākā Surf Lifesaving Club, holding a variety of positions and introducing the change which allowed women to join the club.

He joined the Marsden Jaycees where he rose through the ranks to deputy governor of the Auckland/Northland region and was awarded a Jaycee International Senatorship.

He was an inaugural member of the Marsden Yacht and Boat Club where he served time as commodore among other roles.

Daniel chaired the Ruakākā Primary School Committee and Ruakākā Parish Residents and Ratepayers Association where he lobbied to have a police station at Ruakākā.

When the refinery undertook a major expansion in the 1980s, Daniel became a member of the Whangārei Refinery Expansion Social Impact Group,

He has also served as secretary for the Ruakākā Scouts Group and the Ruakākā Economic Development Group.

In 2015 he was recognised as Ruakākā Citizen of the Year, and in 2017 received the inaugural Bream Bay Sports Award for Community Impact.

Pamela Stevens, centre received her Civic Honour early, with mayor Sheryl Mai and councillor Sue Glen. Photo/Supplied
Pamela Stevens, centre received her Civic Honour early, with mayor Sheryl Mai and councillor Sue Glen. Photo/Supplied

Pamela Stevens - considerable contribution to the people of Whangārei and the environment

Stevens has lived in Whangārei for 40 years with her family. In that time she has taught in local schools and introduced women to kayaking and tramping in her role of Northland co-ordinator for Women Outdoors New Zealand.

She has devoted more than 20 years as a volunteer, committee member and chairwoman of Friends of Matakohe-Limestone Island.

Stevens is a member of the Native Forest Action Council, the New Zealand Canoeing Association and the Save the Rivers campaign.

She helped form the Storytime Children's Bookshop Co-operative to address a lack of preschool and junior school education materials in Whangārei. Stevens was a member of the Onerahi Primary School Committee and Board of Trustees and the Tikipunga High School Board of Trustees.

She has served on the Te Kowhai Print Trust board in various roles for 13 years.

Since 2013 Stevens has acted as a broker between NRC, landowners and WDC to reopen a track known as Waikaraka Walkway in Onerahi.

In 2016 she was award the Onerahi Association Order of Merit.