2023 Civic Awards recipients and citations.
For some four decades Victoria has been a forceful advocate for the heritage of Akaroa and the surrounding district.
A long-serving member of the Akaroa Civic Trust, she has never been afraid to look authority in the eye, always willing to take on bureaucracy where rules are being flouted, as in the landmark case heard in the Environment Court involving a local landowner and a proposed development that breached the coastal plan.
Victoria always researches her material most thoroughly, and her advocacy is always extremely balanced and well-informed. She has been deeply involved, with the Civic Trust, with matters of heritage and preservation, and has given decades of support to community institutions such as the Akaroa Museum.
She, with other members of the Civic Trust, has made countless trips to the Christchurch City Council to make submissions on all manner of things, from wastewater to the maintenance of sea walls, from freedom camping to traffic management, not to mention the vexed subject of mass tourism and the cruise ship debate.
An articulate advocate for her community, and a fearless fighter for the cause, her dedication has won her the highest regard and deepest respect of the Akaroa community.
After more than three decades as a member of the Hornby Club Kevin recently saw fit to stand down from his position as President, a post that he has filled for almost a quarter of a century.
During his tenure he has had to steer the Club through many a crisis, not the least of which have been the Covid-19 pandemic and Christchurch earthquakes.
He has nonetheless weathered these storms to lead the redevelopment team that oversaw the rebuilding of the Club into the multi-million dollar facility that serves not only as the Club premises but services the wider Hornby community.
He has overseen the transformation of the Club into an integral and vital part of the Hornby community, a safe, welcoming family environment that caters for a wide variety of sporting interests as well as supporting and sponsoring local community initiatives.
The Club has sponsored the Hornby Rugby Club, Hornby Cycling and Hornby Rotary for many years, all groups that promote healthy activity and community cohesion.
The Club has provided grants to local schools and other sporting organisations and hosted many charity events which raised money for a multitude of local groups. His legacy will last for decades to come.
Louisa is one of the founding members of the Governors Bay Jetty Restoration Trust that was established in 2015 to save the historic and much-loved Governors Bay Jetty which was damaged beyond repair and closed following the Canterbury earthquakes. For the past eight years she has single-mindedly and tirelessly addressed her duties as Secretary and Treasurer to this end.
Like any large-scale project and particularly one involving construction, there have been any number of setbacks, delays, and challenges along the way; but Louisa has consistently kept cool, calm and collected, continually encouraging the trustees and the community to keep the project alive.
Louisa has organised fund-raising events (the community has had to raise 50% of the multimillion-dollar cost of the project), community workshops and social gatherings to support the Trust’s work. She has made deputations to the City Council and won the support of Councillors.
As a result of her labours and determination Governors Bay now has its beloved jetty back. Brand new, bigger, better, and built to modern standards; a place for swimming, kayaking, paddle boarding, splashing about, or simply for walking and being close to nature and the water.
It has taken a community to rebuild the jetty, but it took one person to be the cornerstone and driving force of that community effort.
Dave is a quiet, reliable man who is committed to building a better and more sustainable Christchurch and New Zealand.
He is an active supporter of many community groups who share his focus. He is one of those quiet background workers who actually drive the many community organizations that we need and admire even though they may not sit on committees or hold a named office.
The Travis Wetland Trust, Forest and Bird, the Christchurch Workers’ Educational Association, the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and Environment Canterbury, are but a few of those who have all benefitted from his gift of time, energy, and expertise.
He volunteers for the Mahoe-nui Reserve, and for many years has volunteered for the Port Hills Rangers at their community working bees.
He participates in and sometimes helps organize the Forest and Bird Mother of All Clean-up programmes and has volunteered for their Boyle Base trapping project in the Lewis Pass.
Dave participates in the wilding pine removal near Craigieburn, he is currently treasurer of Sustainable Ōtautahi, and he sits on the committee of the Christchurch WEA. The list goes on and on.
Seemingly tireless, always calm and sensible, respectful and much respected, the many organizations that he touches would be much the less without him.
It is widely understood that the riding of bicycles promotes good health in individuals and helps to dramatically reduce pollution of the environment. Less frequently mentioned, but no less important, are the social benefits of cycling in groups.
Robert created the Wednesday Wheelies in 2017 as a means of organizing group bike rides along safe cycling paths in Christchurch, aiming to boost riders’ confidence and to discover the city’s ever-growing network of cycle ways.
Most of the participants are retired and use the ride for both physical fitness and for social purposes. As the ride has gained in popularity he has trained and supported new ride leaders to conduct groups on different routes, of which he has designed more than 125 variations.
Besides the Wednesday Wheelies, he is deeply involved in the Spokes Canterbury organization, the annual Biketober Festival of cycling activities, and many other initiatives that all promote cycling in Christchurch and increase the uptake and use of the new cycling infrastructure that has been growing across the city over the last few years.
Robert is a quiet enabler who, through his good nature, strong people and organizational skills, and sheer hard work has made Christchurch a better place to live.
Hayley has been an outstanding and dedicated advocate for the Christchurch Red Zone since the earthquake, passionately campaigning for a multipurpose City to Sea River Park.
Through her tireless efforts she has consistently championed the cause and worked towards making the vision a reality, but her advocacy extends far beyond the Red Zone.
Hayley is actively engaged in numerous projects across the city, developments such as the Richmond Community Garden, Ōtākaro Orchard, Urban Farm, Avon Ōtākaro Network, the Red Zone Action Team, the Richmond Residents and Business Association, and Envirohub amongst others.
She provides vision and leadership, guiding projects and events towards their goals. She is adept at identifying opportunities, building partnerships and accessing funding.
Her talent for managing relationships, fostering open communication, and resolving conflicts has been key to maintaining a cohesive and unified effort on the part of all those involved in a project or an event.
Whether through direct involvement or overseeing teams of volunteers, Hayley’s hands-on – or, perhaps more accurately, gumboots-on – approach, has ensured that tasks are completed efficiently and on time.
Hayley’s passion, advocacy and volunteerism have enriched the lives of countless individuals and have helped to shape a more vibrant and inclusive community.
As our world becomes increasingly warmer it is becoming increasing clear that trees are not just nice things to have in a city.
A healthy tree canopy cools urban areas markedly. Trees clear the air of pollutants. Trees retain moisture. Trees bring pleasure to the eye and solace to the soul.
The Green Effect Trust, through its project Trees for Canterbury, has been aware of this for decades, and for the past thirty years Peter has been a staunch volunteer member of the Trust.
Over that period he has attended almost all of the meetings of the Trust, offering support and guidance to the paid staff and the many volunteers who make up the Project.
Nor has he been content simply to guide and advise. He has attended 98% of community plantings, showing up (normally by bicycle) to plant in conditions that range from freezing cold to sweltering, in boggy ground and in stony soil, come wind or rain.
More, he has made every effort to ensure that people at risk – those with intellectual, social or physical challenges - are included in activities. He is a prime exemplar of the selfless dedication of volunteers without whom society as we know it would not exist.
Katrina has worked tirelessly for the people of eastern Christchurch for more than thirty years.
As Archdeacon within the Anglican Diocese she manages St Luke’s, St Faith’s and St Andrew’s Churches but her mission has taken her far beyond her role as a member of the clergy through her work with Te Waka Aroha.
This initiative coalesced twelve years ago in the aftermath of the Christchurch earthquakes as a vehicle to deliver support and resources to a community devastated by the hardships that descended in the wake of that disaster.
The provision of safe, comfortable, and affordable housing has always been and still remains of the highest priority, as does the need to put proper food on the tables of the many families who struggle each day simply to provide the most basic of needs.
Katrina works relentlessly to address these needs and through the agency of Te Waka Aroha provides a space where all may meet for tea or coffee in a safe, welcoming, and non-judgemental environment, where arts and crafts can thrive, and people, religious or otherwise, can come for advice, sympathy and practical support.
She is quiet, humble, and joyful, a bringer of joy and warmth, a leader who inspires and empowers all she meets.
Academic, historian and activist, Lynn has served as a committee member, secretary, treasurer, researcher, advocate and/or trustee of any number of groups over the decades; the Godley Head Heritage Trust, the Nurses’ Memorial Chapel Trust, the Friends of the Arts Centre, Historic Places Canterbury, the Canterbury Museum Revitalisation Project and many more.
Drawing upon her extensive legal and administrative skills Lynn has spent endless hours preparing and presenting a huge range of reports, submissions and petitions.
She has organised bus trips and heritage car convoys, visits and book launches and other such events. Lynn has researched and developed websites and is actively involved in fund-raising. She is a multi-purpose dynamo, a pearl beyond price.
Lew had been a vital part of the Bone Marrow Cancer Trust since its very beginning in 1990, as a founding member. As such he was instrumental in establishing the first bone marrow transplant unit in New Zealand, based at Christchurch Hospital.
The unit was immediately swamped with patients, most of whom came from beyond Canterbury and therefore needed accommodation. Lew and his fellow trustees, along with Rotarians enlisted through his contacts with the Rotary Club, rallied together and quickly solved the problem.
The answer was Ranui House, an apartment complex that was opened in 1993. Demand rapidly outstripped rooms available, so he was once more engaged in fundraising and negotiations to enlarge the premises.
As soon as this was achieved, they were once again too small to provide for all in need, so the process had to begin again. And again. A forty-three apartment complex is currently under construction and due to open in 2024.
Lew was deeply involved at every stage of the operation. He was also a founding and active trustee of the Bone Marrow Cancer Research Trust which, since 2008, has raised over a million dollars for cancer research projects.
His dedication was inexhaustible, his community spirit exceptional.
David is the creator, driving force and Chairperson of the Eco-Action Nursery Trust, a project founded in 2016 with the purpose of becoming a competent and productive community organization supporting schools, students, and local people to restore the natural environment and to develop more sustainable lifestyles.
An intelligent and inspiring person, a vibrant and engaging teacher, David is a man of wide vision, phenomenal practical skills, and incredible generosity of spirit.
He co-ordinates and manages all aspects of the Trust, from negotiating places for plantings, collaboration with other like-minded groups, day to day logistics, running meetings, liaising with schools, arranging sponsorships, mentoring students and all the other hundred and one tasks that are required to keep the organization active and humming.
This is a large-scale initiative involving thousands of people, young and old, from all walks of life, growing a forest together.
A huge number of Christchurch schools, both primary and secondary, have become involved as well as numerous other groups such as the University of Canterbury, the Ryman Charles Upham Rest Home, and the Richmond Community Gardens.
David is a humble, hard-working soul with a massive heart and endless energy, a role model to thousands and an absolute asset to our city.
Any organization that seeks to reach beyond its own back yard would be wise to enlist the aid of someone with a legal background, someone who is well-versed in the arcane machinery of committees and advisory groups.
Brian is such a one, and for decades he has given generously of his time, invaluable skills, wise counsel and vast experience to any number of groups, public and private.
As a lawyer with longstanding involvement in international relations, a degree in Earth Sciences and membership of the Royal Society of New Zealand, he is uniquely qualified to advise and mentor.
The list of the organizations with which he has been involved is encyclopaedic: the Public Transport Advisory Group, the New Zealand China Cultural Promotion Foundation, Canterbury University, the NZ Automobile Association, the Independent Citizens’ Association, the Christchurch Seattle Sister City Committee, and the local Chinese Consulate to name but a few.
He stands as a true pillar of the community, and all who have been or are associated with him have felt empowered by the example of lifelong dedication to the cause of Canterbury and New Zealand.
While we all have a few photos of the holiday in Woolloomooloo or Whangamata, there are many places on Earth that only a very few can, or ever will be able to, see directly. Antarctica is such a place. And while our holiday snaps stir memories, it takes a rare artist to capture the true reality of a place and to bring it to life before our eyes.
Antz is such an artist, one who has made it his life’s work to document the amazing and eternally mysterious continent that is our near neighbour through a medium that is accessible to all.
Although he makes his living as a photographer, he frequently provides his work free of charge to enhance community related events in Christchurch, and he is a champion for Christchurch’s Gateway City status.
Antz often gives his time, expertise, and resources free for the greater benefit of the Christchurch community.
Along with Antarctica New Zealand he supports the Christchurch City Council, ChristchurchNZ and the Christchurch Antarctic Office through promotional material, with flow-on benefits to Scout groups, schools and business groups, and the University of the Third Age.
Photographer, videographer and film-maker extraordinaire, he gives us a true vision of the wild, that we may truly understand the wilderness, a gift that is beyond price.
Since arriving in New Zealand from Nepal in 1996 Bhola has relentlessly and unstintingly given of his time and many skills for the benefit of the wider Nepali refugee and migrant communities.
He has helped the Nepali diaspora through a number of leadership roles in different community organizations. He played a key role in conceiving and registering the Nepal NZ Friendship Society of Canterbury to cater to the needs of these communities, and guided the Society as its President through its initial fragile years.
The positions that he has held in various community organizations are too numerous to list – Executive Member, President, Treasurer, Chief Election Officer, Co-ordinator – he has filled and fulfilled them all.
Quite apart from his continuing responsibilities in steering the Nepali community, he has assisted in countless other ways such as indexing and archiving books in school libraries, representing the Nepali community in cross-cultural interactions, and being involved in multi-cultural programmes.
Bhola has made monetary donations to many community causes, and his family always provides authentic, home-made Nepali food for community gatherings and fund-raising activities.
The Nepali community of Canterbury would not be where it is now without his many years of stellar service and leadership.
In 2017 the Christchurch School of Gymnastics was poised to commence rebuilding, remediating the extensive damage suffered during the Christchurch earthquakes.
Large sums of money are involved in such projects, and with that a minefield of possible financial, legal, and procedural pitfalls for the inexperienced.
Barbara offered her extensive accounting and management skills to the club at this pivotal time and immediately made a significant contribution to the club sorting out funding applications.
Elected to the volunteer Board in February of 2018, and the Chair the following June, she displayed a singular talent for getting often conflicting parties together and gaining consensus.
Barbara’s advocacy to funding and other agencies to support the delivery of a gymnastics programme to the wider community was outstanding.
She has worked hard to ensure that the club is compliant with complex and changing rules, regulations and legal requirements - work that is far from usual for a Board and definitely over and above that required of the Chair.
Otherwise, and equally importantly, Barbara has been an indefatigable caterer, spending countless hours feeding officials so that the competitions could go on.
The Christchurch School of Gymnastics is deeply privileged to have someone of her skill and commitment as a member.
Don’s ministry has been in the area of community mental health, but his involvement has gone far, far beyond that of a simple health worker.
His original and authentic approach across a broad spectrum of problems has brought comfort and practical help to many sufferers on their journey to health.
Don has spent six years in the most demanding of environments, as a volunteer Chaplain in the acute ward of Hillmorton Hospital, and as a volunteer member of St Martin’s Ministry team to Christchurch Men’s Prison.
He has organised and run grief education courses for those who have experienced loss, and a marriage preparation course for young couples learning to deal with conflict management, financial management and family relationships.
Don’s well-grounded and appropriate advice have been met with warm appreciation of his wisdom and life experience, shared with humility and a good sense of humour.
He has organised beginner classes in te reo Māori, and has led Film and Faith discussion groups, addressing difficult issues such as meaning, purpose, justice, gender and sexual identity, and domestic violence.
He has a unique ability to bring people together to tackle difficult matters in a safe and welcoming context while at the same time building new friendships.
Judith married into the Thacker clan of Okains Bay in 1965 and for the almost six decades since has maintained a whole-hearted commitment to the community of Okains Bay in general and the Okains Bay Museum in particular.
She has played a significant role in the formation of the Kāhui Korowai, further developing the Museum’s rich cultural heritage. In 2016, when visited by curators from Te Papa, the Museum of New Zealand, the Museum was honoured with the sobriquet of the ‘Te Papa of Canterbury’, for the kaitiaki of taonga of both national and international importance. All in large part due to her good offices.
As an inaugural member of the Board of the Okains Bay Enhancement Society she has been deeply involved in the restoration and maintenance of the historic buildings of the Okains Bay settlement – the church, the store, the cocksfooting shed and others.
Her efforts were key to the on-going development of the camping ground, and the large-scale planting of native species there to remediate the massive damage caused by the Canterbury earthquakes.
Her leadership, planning and enthusiasm have been, and continue to be, exceptional.
In 2018 Verity founded and continues to manage the Kai for the Community Charitable Trust to address the considerable and growing problem of food poverty in the city of Christchurch, and the Trust has grown over time.
From serving an average of 40 individuals in late 2019, it now serves anywhere between 70 and 90 two course in-house meals to vulnerable members of the community every Sunday evening.
The service not only includes meals but also provides toiletries, quality used clothing and practical advice on dealing with external agencies such as Work & Income, employment agencies and housing providers.
In 2020 Verity established a sister organization, Mums on Meals (MOM), that addresses food insecurity in Primary Schools. Now she works with a team of eight dedicated volunteers to bring hot, home cooked and highly nutritional meals to selected schools in East Christchurch, schools that do not otherwise qualify for governmental or other agency programmes.
Verity established both social outreach programmes and has led their management, a protracted and sustained effort that has involved a significant amount of her time, effort and considerable management and resourcing skills, not to mention her personal funding.
No mere words can fully eulogise such generosity and dedication.
In his early twenties, due to unhealthy lifestyle choices, his battle with weight had got to the point that he required a seatbelt extension while flying.
It was then that he realised that it was time to reassess those choices, leading him to join the Les Mills Gym, where, twenty years later, he is still an Instructor.
As a Registered Nurse and a Fitness Instructor, he is passionate about fitness, wellbeing, and health equity, particularly within vulnerable communities.
He promotes physical activity as a form of illness prevention in all his various roles in the community.
He founded the registered charity Moana Va, Navigators of Pacific Pride, a Pacific Rainbow group where he supports and advocates for individuals and families who feel isolated, vulnerable and in need of a safe space. It is the first Pacific Rainbow organization of its kind in Christchurch, the point of difference with other, similar groups being that it extends support to whole families who struggle to navigate a space that is quite new to their culture and spiritual beliefs.
His communities are the number one focus in his life (after his mother).
He is a superstar in the firmament of the Pacific Community.
Their remit is very broad. Wherever people gather, they provide traffic and crowd control, assistance to those in distress, and, if necessary, first aid.
For decades they have provided a service to the people of Ōtautahi that is beneficial not only to members of the Māori community, deploying Māori values to support and protect people of all ethnicities.
They care for young people, the aged, the homeless and the socially and economically disadvantaged. In times of crisis they are there for the people, as in the aftermath of the devastating Christchurch earthquakes, when they fanned out across the city, providing comfort and assistance and sound practical advice wherever it was needed.
During the Covid-19 pandemic they worked with health and local authorities to encourage people to get vaccinated, and supported efforts in welfare and border control.
They work for the relief of poverty, the advancement of education, health, recreation and social welfare, work that, all too often, no-one else wants to do.
Their work is relentless and often thankless. The people of Christchurch cannot give relief from toil that seems to be never-ending, but they can, at the very least, give resounding and unreserved thanks for their truly monumental efforts.