The gems in our community glowed at a feel-good ceremony for the Bay of Plenty Kiwibank Local Hero Awards this week. Reporter Jean Bell speaks to two Local Heroes.
The astounding humility of Rotorua's most cherished community gems was revealed at an awards ceremony for the Kiwibank New Zealand Local Hero of the Year.
Rotorua's Nicky Mayne and Danielle Porteous were among the people celebrated at the ceremony at Classic Flyers in Tauranga.
Nicky Mayne said she felt "very, very humbled" to receive the award.
"I didn't feel like I deserved to be there. The significance of the moment really hit home."
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Mayne is general manager for St Chads Charitable Trust, an organisation supporting people with disabilities.
According to a statement from Kiwibank, Mayne's leadership has helped dozens of disabled people in the community gain greater independence, learn and maintain valuable life skills, and build better relationships with other members of the community.
Mayne was at work when an email bearing the surprise news dropped into her inbox.
"I couldn't speak. I was totally gobsmacked ... We do what we do not for recognition, but because we believe in a cause," Mayne said.
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"I want to create that better world for my significantly disabled son. I want to help people see what they currently don't see: the discrimination and the barriers currently there for people with disability."
She said Mike King and John Kirwin had "changed the conversation" around mental health but there was no equivalent voice speaking out about disability issues.
Meanwhile, Danielle Porteous took on the challenge of raising $10,000 for Mother's Helpers, a charity that provides support for women suffering from perinatal and postnatal depression or anxiety.
Porteous is no stranger to the havoc that perinatal and postnatal depression can wreak on a woman and her family - that battle has been her own for eight years.
Her epic fundraising efforts included cycling 85km from Rotorua to Taupō and holding pub quizzes, garage sales, selling hāngī food and baked goods.
"I was telling someone [meeting the fundraising target] was like a job I had to get done. I had taken the bull on and I had to finish it," she said before laughing.
Porteous first found out about the award when someone tagged her in a Facebook post.
"At first I thought it was fake. I was pretty embarrassed because usually I like to fly under the radar but I was proud of myself as well."
While she had no idea who nominated her, Porteous was glad that her actions could inspire others.
"I feel really humbled and want to show others that they can reach that level too."