A Northland police officer's efforts to connect the region's communities earned him a top honour at the national Neighbourhood Support awards.
Whangārei area prevention team supervisor Senior Sergeant James Calvert received the inaugural Neighbourhood Support-New Zealand Police Partner award for his part in revitalising the community-led movement in Northland.
Calvert described winning the award in Wellington at this month's Neighbourhood Support New Zealand conference as "really humbling".
"From a police perspective there are hundreds of cops doing similar jobs and working alongside their communities," he said.
For the experienced sergeant, the award was a reflection on all the work everyone he had collaborated with had done in the Neighbourhood Support space.
"Neighbourhood Support in Northland has been struggling to gain traction for a little while."
Calvert said Whangārei's Jan Mander "kept the lights on all by herself".
Mander's commitment to uniting neighbourhoods saw her honoured with a district award at the same conference – alongside Baylys Beach Neighbourhood Support.
Calvert also gave a nod to Shelley Wilcott-Henderson, who was the representative in the national body for Northland.
"Between us we did a series of community meetings around Whangārei that garnered interest. We tried to get street groups up and running," he said. "The more connected and resilient we are – the better."
Calvert was an instrumental part of appointing the country's first Neighbourhood Support New Zealand community adviser Hannah White – who specifically operates in Tai Tokerau.
His role also focused on advising Neighbourhood Support and had been the liaison between them and the national office.
"Your neighbours are your best allies. They're the ones who are going to come and help you or check on you ... they're going to know when you need and will be there to help you out."