Heritage in the Whanganui, Ruapehu and Rangitīkei districts will be celebrated through the inaugural Whanganui Regional Heritage Awards.
The Whanganui Regional Heritage Trust has announced the awards which will promote and celebrate heritage retention, conservation and education.
"It's hoped the awards will be a catalyst for encouraging the retention and story-telling of the region's built and cultural heritage," trustee and awards manager Helen Craig said.
"We are rich in heritage and are seeing more people actively investing time and energy into projects, and it's important to recognise their efforts."
Award entries open from August 1-31.
Winners will be announced at the Heritage Month opening night and awards ceremony on October 1.
Entries will be judged by a panel of nationally-recognised heritage advocates,including Heritage New Zealand's chief executive Andrew Coleman.
The supreme winner will be chosen from the seven category winners and will receive a handcrafted art glass trophy made by a Whanganui glass artist. There will be certificates for each category winner, plus highly commended and merit certificates.
The trust is looking for sponsors for each category, plus an overall naming rights sponsor.
Awards associate manager Ann Petherick is helping Craig to contact organisations for sponsorship support.
"We would really welcome your support for this fantastic new initiative as it's a great way to give back to the community, especially if you're involved in consulting and the related construction industry," Petherick said.
The awards are modelled on the Canterbury Heritage Awards and Craig is working with Historic Places Aotearoa, the national body that represents independent heritage organisations, and Heritage New Zealand with the aim of establishing the New Zealand Heritage Awards.
The regional awards will be held every two years. Details and an entry form are online at www.whanganuiheritagetrust.org.nz
There are seven award categories:
• Restored domestic architecture more than 50 years old.
• Retention and restoration of a public or commercial building or structure more than 50 years old.
• Heritage and cultural tourism, including cultural precincts, events and heritage destinations and attractions.
• Outstanding contribution award to an organisation, group or individual for telling the Whanganui/Ruapehu/Rangitīkei heritage story, including publications, education programmes, exhibitions, websites or activities that promote heritage retention, conservation and education.
• Future heritage award recognising a new building showing sensitivity to the streetscape and landscape and one which will secure a cultural legacy for the future.
• Seismic award recognising commitment, investment or a unique solution to earthquake strengthening which has saved or will now protect a heritage building.
• Māori realm award recognising leadership and contribution in restoration and retention of buildings, structures and places associated with Te Ao Māori or containing Māori values.