Previous winners

2023 Semi-Finalists

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Achieving @ Waitakere Charitable Trust

An embodiment of community in action, Achieving @ Waitakere (A@W) is a charitable trust on a mission to ensure young people in West Auckland succeed in education. Composed of 11 school principals from around West Auckland, The Trust harnesses the power of collaboration – building on a range of positive initiatives that have been happening in the community for years, and working together to ensure no young person is left behind. Over a five-year period the A@W team have supported over 500 young people to re-engage in education, and access much-needed support and services. Beyond that, they have changed the way West Auckland work with at-risk youth, championing a more proactive and supportive approach. It’s critical work, driven by the knowledge that education is a powerful tool for breaking cycles of poverty and supporting young people to reach their full potential.

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Christchurch Aunties

It was a huge year for the Christchurch Aunties: growing their network of nearly 6,000 people to support women and children in Christchurch, Ashburton, and the Waimakariri and Selwyn Districts who have experienced domestic violence. Guided by their vision of a community where all women and children who have been exposed to abuse and family harm are safe, well resourced and supported, the Christchurch Aunties are hard at work. Their mahi and model is simple: get basic, essential supplies to women and their families as quickly and seamlessly as possible, through the 19 agencies they support. During the recent unprecedented pandemic, this mahi was never more vital – and Christchurch Aunties are continuing to rise to the challenge.

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Foster Hope Otago

Founded on the belief that every child deserves to know that someone cares about them, Foster Hope Otago is a community dedicated to supporting young people in foster care. As the Otago branch of the national organisation Foster Hope, this passionate group of volunteers support thousands of young people across Otago, providing them with a backpack of essentials every time they arrive at a new home along with other school supplies and Christmas gifts. Entirely reliant on the support of their wider community, Foster Hope Otago are pivotal in providing much needed hope and support to some of our nation’s most vulnerable children.

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Kindness Collective

Founded by Sarah and Dave Page in 2014, the Kindness Collective (KC) has now grown from a small, behind-the-scenes group of friends and family to a network of over 40,000 people; including donors, volunteers, followers, brands and businesses all working together to build a kinder Aotearoa.

At its heart, KC operates as a match-making agency; matching those in need with those who have more to share – donating time, tools, resources and money to

Kiwis in need. Their latest project, the Christmas Joy Store will provide Christmas toys to thousands of kids all across Aotearoa and as well as building community gardens, they run the PJ Project which provides warm, winter PJs to kids from Kaitaia to Queenstown, and everywhere in between.

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Littlemore

In 2022, Littlemore donated a record-breaking 235,000+ high quality, pre-loved, essential baby items to over 5,500 whānau living below the poverty line across Tāmaki Makaurau. A grassroots charity making a big difference every day, Littlemore is made up of a diverse team of 100+ volunteers, led by one highly passionate, part-time paid staff member. Their mission may be simple – facilitating the sharing of baby essentials so whānau affected by hardship have what they need to care for their babies. They re-purpose baby essentials in a sustainable and inclusive way, contributing to a greener future for Aotearoa – but the mahi is monumental. Every week, the team receive, safety check, wash, clean, mend, sort, pack, store and distribute over 4,500 baby items to ensure families facing highly challenging times can keep their babies safe and warm. Under dedicated leadership, the community has grown significantly in the last few years, building a strong foundation of support with an active network of 7,300+ community donors, volunteers, supporters and partners from across the country.

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Pā Harakeke – Flaxmere

Over the past decade, Pā Harakeke Flaxmere – a small township in the Hastings District – has undergone a major transformation. 10 years ago, the community was at breaking point; with a reputation for high crime rates, family violence and gang confrontations that divided locals and made national headlines for all the wrong reasons. In 2008, following a six week period of sustained violence that ultimately became a tipping point, the ‘Enough is Enough’ hīkoi (march) saw over 5000 people take to the streets to raise awareness and galvanise a concerned community into action. It was a turning point. Since that day, this small community has rallied together for good. In 2022, school children proudly represent their suburb at events across the region, cultural festivals attract visitors from across Hastings, and the Flaxmere Community Centre is packed with people of all ages taking part in a huge variety of programmes. It’s taken a decade, a range of initiatives and an entire community to get behind change – but the impact is undeniable.

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Pathway Charitable Group

For every 100 people released from prison in New Zealand, 49 will be back behind bars within two years. That’s one of the highest recidivism rates in the western world, a statistic Pathway is determined to change. As part of its Navigate Initiative based out of Christchurch Men’s Prison, the charitable trust supports and prepares prisoners for six to 12 months ahead of their release, giving them essential, practical skills to make positive change and live enriched, meaningful lives for the benefit of our communities. The intensive programme has a proud history of success, with internal statistics showing just 9% of the approximately 70 prisoners released over the first four years have returned to prison after re- offending. That is a staggering drop in recidivism, which Pathway is very proud of. Pathway believes everyone deserves a fresh start and when the Tu Ora we work with commit to that, we provide the tools and support they need to make positive change. Living a meaningful, enriched life can make all the difference and create safer communities for everyone. All of this is made possible because Pathway never gives up on anyone. Ever.

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REAP Aotearoa Collective

REAP Aotearoa is a collective of 13 local organisations that exist in rural communities around the country. Each REAP (Rural Education Activities Programmes) works within its respective community to deliver education and whānau focused programmes and services that would often be more easily accessible in urban centres. For many people in rural communities, REAPs are “go-to” organisations, dedicated to finding accessible solutions to a diverse range of needs. Whether it’s tackling the aftermath of big weather events, distributing kai over lockdown or even supporting individual whānau in need, REAPs across New Zealand are on hand for trusted, considered and often life-changing support.

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Recreate NZ

Recreate NZ provides programmes across Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Wellington & Christchurch for young people with disabilities. Delivering epic adventure, recreational, social and educational, and work skills programmes, Recreate ensures young people – no matter their ability – have a broad range of opportunities and experiences. From cycling the Otago Rail Trail to a night out for dinner and a movie, Recreate is changing lives for individuals and families impacted by disability.

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The Good Registry

The Good Registry is an online social enterprise platform that allows people to “give more joy, not more stuff”. Co-founded by three passionate Wellingtonians, The Good Registry was born in 2017 as an alternative to traditional gift giving: providing a platform where people give charity donation gifts – either through Good Gift Cards, an electronic gift card which recipients can 'spend' on their favourite causes, or through registries; a spin on the classic gift registry. The platform supports over 65 Kiwi charities – many of whom have limited resources yet their mahi is crucial to the communities they serve. The Good Registry and their mission helps people show their appreciation for friends and whānau without unnecessary 'stuff'. And it’s working, with thousands of people and businesses opting for waste-free, feel-good gifts.

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CATEGORY CRITERIA

To be eligible for this award, the nominee must be a regional or national community group, iwi, geographical region or collective of people - in any sector including (but not limited to) business, leadership, culture, voluntary work, disaster relief, environmental work, health, education, sporting clubs, or working with the disadvantaged.

Nominators should consider talking about the following areas in their nomination:

  • THE COMMUNITY: Describe the community, group or duo you are nominating and the work that they do (particularly over the past 12-months) that has inspired you to nominate them as 2023 Mitre 10 Community of the Year Ngā Pou Whirinaki o te Tau.
  • PURPOSE: Who benefits from the work of this community, and how?
  • COMMITMENT: Describe the commitment of time, risks, and challenges overcome to create an impact to this point (this may still be ongoing).
  • PROVEN IMPACT: How has this community clearly demonstrated a positive impact in their area of influence? How has this been measured?
  • LONG-TERM IMPACT: If applicable, how would the nominee/s enhance, grow, and/or adapt their approach in the future to best meet the changing needs of their community? How would winning this award impact this group and the work that they are doing?
  • THOUGHT LEADERSHIP & INNOVATIVE THINKING: How thoughtful, creative, and unique is this community’s approach to their challenge, opportunity, or situation?

Conditions of Entry