Environmental efforts good reason for celebration

It’s more important than ever to celebrate the tremendous energy that many put into improving the region’s environment, says Taranaki Regional Council Chair David MacLeod.

Announcing the 16 winners of this year’s TRC Environmental Awards today, Mr MacLeod says it’s a chance to lift our heads above the challenges that 2021 has brought. 

The awards recognise a wide variety of environmental undertakings across the region, including:

 - A Ngāruahine iwi initiative that saw the return of threatened freshwater species to waters where they hadn’t been seen for years.

- A Rotokare educational programme whose graduates refused to leave.

- A 22-year effort on behalf of QEII Trust that resulted in perpetual protection for thousands of hectares of Taranaki bushland.

Mr MacLeod says it’s reassuring to see people of all ages and all walks of life, and organisations ranging from iwi to corporates, taking action to protect and improve the region’s environment –  and getting good results.

This year’s winners:

Environmental leadership in business 

  • Taranaki District Health Board 
  • Mitre 10 and Mitre 10 MEGA, New Plymouth 

Environmental leadership in dairy farming 

  • PW and J Campbell Trusts Partnership, Waverley 
  • Woodleigh Ltd, Waverley 

Environmental leadership in land management 

  • Neil Phillips, New Plymouth 
  • Holmleigh Trust Partnership (Peter and Nicola Carver) Hāwera 
  • Bruce & Christine Maechler, Rāhotu

Environmental action in the community 

  • Valda Poletti & David Clarkson, New Plymouth
  • Keith Holswich, New Plymouth
  • Te Korowai o Ngāruahine Trust
  • Wildlife.ai Trust

Environmental action in education

  • Ratapiko School
  • Waitara East School
  • New Horizons Aotearoa
  • Rotokare Scenic Reserve Trust
  • Coastal Taranaki School 

To see video profiles of each winner and the reasons for their award, go to www.trc.govt.nz/award-winners

“In this year’s lineup we see tangata whenua, farmers, students, trusts, agencies and companies, and committed individuals off their own bat, rolling up their sleeves and getting on with it,” says Mr MacLeod.

“In a challenging year like the one we’re going through, it’s more important than ever to celebrate efforts like this, and be inspired by them.”

The usual presentation ceremony at a catered evening function cannot take place this year because of COVID-19 restrictions. The awards are being presented in a series of ceremonies at the Council chamber in Stratford today and next week.

Mr MacLeod acknowledges the support of category sponsors Fonterra (dairy), Corteva (land management) and Contact Energy (education). “Their backing allows us to make it a real occasion for the winners.”

This year’s awards take to the total to 329 since the programme began in 1993.