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Regional Council awards recognise the community’s environmental champions

Helen and Hinewai resized

Four organisations and individuals who are taking action to enhance the region’s environment are the latest recipients of the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council’s Environmental Awards.

Council chair Rex Graham, who presented the awards at the Council chambers in Napier today, says the award winners are people who have seen an environmental problem and through their can-do attitude, worked out how to overcome it.

 “By their actions, they show how much they care for our beautiful region, and are a great example of what can be achieved through practical, grass-roots action,” he says.

 “They also demonstrate the huge effort that goes in to restoring our environment and the importance of partnerships and working with others to achieve a shared goal.”

 “We are a region made up of many people who are working hard, often on top of their day jobs and working around family commitments, to ensure a thriving and prosperous future for future generations,” he says.

 Today’s awards were presented in two categories:

 Environmental Action in the Community - Te Oho Mauri Taiao ki te Hapori

Recognises not-for-profit organisations or individuals that are taking action to protect or enhance the environment, or are increasing understanding of environmental issues.

 Maraetōtara Tree Trust

 Maraetōtara River previously suffered degradation from livestock pollution, willow tree infestation, and a general lack of care and protection of river margins. In partnership with the Regional Council since 2002, the Trust is progressively removing willows, fencing off covenanted 5-15m riverside margins and planting these with native trees that are predominantly grown in the region. MTT’s vision is to establish a lush corridor the full length of the Maraetōtara River.

 Hawea Park Hapu Partners

 Hawea Park is the first time in NZ that a regional council has entered into a full landowning and operational partnership with local hapu to construct a new historical park. Despite its impressive history, the land was derelict for many years and used as a dumping tip for concrete and other waste. The hapu partners have immersed themselves in the project, meeting monthly and organising and attending numerous planting days beginning the transformation of this historical land into an amazing park.

Helen Howard

 Helen helped the ‘Fridays for Future Hawke’s Bay’ climate change action group that inspired our youth to gather, share and march in recognition of global warming and the urgency for intervention. Her leadership was particularly demonstrated in the Napier CBD march calling for a Climate Change emergency to be made by our local Councils. She is the founder of ‘Plog Napier’, a project to get our community out and about with their families and friends to help combat plastic pollution in our oceans.

 Environmental Leadership in Business – Te Hautūtanga Taiao me te Pakihi

 Recognises business or local authorities that demonstrate kaitiakitanga, innovation or efficiency, or an ongoing commitment to environmental best practice.

 T&G Global

 T&G Global have made the important environmental decision to no longer use burning of vegetation as a land management tool. The burning of green fruit wood which are being replaced due to redevelopment has been a general practice on the Heretaunga plains. Due to the development of alternative mulching options there are now practical choices for horticulturalists, which will in time become standard practice. The important environmental stand by T&G Global has prompted other horticulturalists to start the process of changing their redevelopment practices.

17 December 2020

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