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18 February 2020

Outstanding service to the community by groups and individuals has been recognised in the 2019 Masterton District Council Civic and Youth Awards.

The Civic Awards have recognised the efforts of nine individuals, with the Youth Awards honouring seven individuals and two groups.

Mayor Lyn Patterson said the work of those receiving awards reflected the quote by Coretta Scott King, who said “the greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members”.

“We have a great community here in Masterton. At the end of the day, it’s the hard-working, passionate and compassionate people within our community that make Masterton a place that people are proud of, want to celebrate, and where they want to raise their families.”



Community category: Jan Burns and Bill Roberts
Nominated by Jan McLaren and John Christie
For services to the Riversdale Beach Ratepayers Association. Jan was secretary since 2009, Bill president since 2009. Both stood down from their positions in January, but Bill remains a committee member.

Arts and Culture category: Amelia Friedrich
Nominated by Ryan Soriano
The matriarch of the Filipino community in Wairarapa for almost two decades, “Ate Amy” has been president of the group and since 2004 has been responsible for organising cultural aspects of Filipino customs and dances and performances in local events. She is not only choreographer but, as a seamstress, also put together the costumes.

Education category: Dr Claire Hills
Nominated by Debra Marshall-Lobb and Susan Cruz
Dr Claire retired in April after 52 years’ service to the teaching profession and has given a huge amount of time voluntarily to tutoring students and adults. She has also acted as a historian of education, arts and culture in Wairarapa, and willingly shares her knowledge.

Community, Education, Heritage and Environment, Sport & Leisure, and International Relations categories: Jonathan Hooker
Nominated by Owen Prior and Trudie Jones
A former district councillor, Jonathan has also been involved in the Masterton Community Group, Victim Support, Civil Defence and the St John’s strategy group; As chair of the International Relations Committee, he established links with Changchun in China and Hatsukaichi in Japan.

Community, and Health and Wellbeing categories: Sam Milligan
Nominated by Barry Paget and Neil Richardson
Sam has had considerable involvement through the years with Wairarapa Search and Rescue, the Wairarapa Rescue Trust, in which he was a founder member, and was instrumental in forming the WanderSearch Trust, which provides a tracking system for people suffering from Alzheimer’s, dementia and autism.

Heritage and Environment Category: Karen Stewart
Nominated by Alistair Curson and Johan Vorster
Karen has made a significant contribution to the community of Lansdowne through her work with the Lansdown Residents Association. Under her leadership the group became an incorporated society enabling it to secure funding for several projects, including murals in the Lansdowne shopping village, and the Lansdowne trails area.

Community category: Lyn Tankersley
Nominated by Pam Horncy and Rowan Anderson
Lyn has volunteered her time unstintingly over more than 20 years to the work of the Masterton Foodbank. Under her stewardship, forward thinking, and leadership, the Foodbank has responded to an almost doubling in demand for food parcels.

Community category: Linda Wong
Nominated by Jacinta Buchanan and Sandra Loveday
Linda has been a tireless worker for the Wairarapa Centre of the Cancer Society for 10 years and has been a member of the Executive Board since 2012. She became chief gardener and secretary when the society moved into Margaret Chittick House in 2014 and shares the results of her excellent cooking skills.


Youth Awards
Individual awards

Alex Dahlberg
Nominated by Stacey Grant
Alex was 2019 junior official of the year in the Times-Age Sports Awards. He has refereed in the women’s central league and been assistant referee in the national women’s league.

Carys Gibbs
Nominated by Kitty Riach
Carys has taken the lead in raising community awareness of climate change, including becoming of the of youngest candidates in the 2019 local body elections, standing for Masterton District Council.

Ella Sims
Nominated by Michael Taylor
Ella has been an emerging leader of the Riversdale Beach Surf Lifesaving Club. As Junior Club Captain she led the nipper programme and completed more than 226 hours of patrols last year.

Iraia Matthews
Nominated by Shari Taylor
Iraia has served his community for two and half years as a kaihaka, tutor, mentor, and youthful kaiako. He is a performer in the Te Kura Kaupapa Maori O Wairarapa band Manu Korihi, and a current performer in the collection college kapa haka group Wairarapa Ki Uta, Wairarapa Ki Tai. He is also one of four tutors of junior groups at Te Whare Tapere o Manukura, a community kapa haka theatre.

Jethro Ornejas
Nominated by Ryan Soriano
The creator of the mural on the water tank at Masterton Club, Jethro is active as a youth volunteer for the Filipino community and his Christian church. He is currently studying film and animation at Yoobee Colleges in Wellington.

Manaia Riwai-Couch
Nominated by Shari Taylor
Manaia has served her community for two and half years as tutor, mentor, kaiako, leader and expert in kapa haka. She is one of four tutors of junior groups at Te Whare Tapere o Manukura, a community kapa haka theatre, and has tutored the Wairarapa College kapa haka group since 2017. She is heavily involved with the Wairarapa Ki Uta, Wairarapa Ki Tai Kapa, and is one of seven tutors for the group.

Mei-Manaia Matiaha Warakihi
Nominated by Shari Taylor
Mei-Manaia has served his community for the past year as a tutor, mentor, Kaiako, leader and expert in kapa haka. He is one of seven tutors of the Wairarapa Ki Uta, Wairarapa Ki Tai Kapa, which earnt a spot in the secondary kapa nationals to be held in Auckland next year. He was also one of three tutors guiding the tamariki of the Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Wairarapa Kapa ‘Nga Puawai of te Kura’ at the Te Manukuratahi primary school nationals in Hamilton.


Group awards

Wairarapa Ki Uta (Francis Governor-Wiremu, Ngakita Matapuku, Te Reia Matiaha, Wairoa Matthews)
Nominated by Shari Taylor
These young people have been nominated because of their commitment to kapa haka in Wairarapa, with all involved as part of a group of seven tutors involved in Wairarapa Ki Uta, Wairarapa Ki Tai Kapa.

The Climate Warriors (MIS) (Hannah Davies, Sarah Fleming, Ebony Wills)
Nominated by Hayden Walsh
The members of this group have worked to increase the public’s knowledge of climate change, and in their two years at Masterton Intermediate School came up with some excellent ideas that will be implemented in the future by younger peers they have inspired. Ebony is the reigning year 8 Wairarapa speech champion, after delivering a speech on plastic pollution.