Local Heroes honoured for services to the community
Everyday people doing exceptional things were the toast of the town last night as Marlborough honoured its very own “Local Heroes”.
As part of the 2017 Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year Awards, the 14 winners of the Local Heroes category were presented with their awards last night at a special medal presentation ceremony held at the Marlborough Convention Centre.
Marlborough District Council Mayor John Leggett was on hand to present the medals. He congratulated the recipients on their award and said that it was vital that the community continued to acknowledge the contributions they have made.
“Many of these medal winners are unsung heroes whose selflessness has had a positive effect on the lives of so many others in our community. Their acts of charity, optimism and commitment are the glue that holds a community together and I appreciate this chance to see their efforts recognised,” he said.
The recipients of the Kiwibank Local Hero Awards for Marlborough were:
Geraldine van Wijngaarden
The Kiwibank Local Hero awards are now New Zealand’s premier community award and give thanks to those providing a positive contribution to their region, town, suburb or community. Nearly 350 medals will be presented nationwide over the next few weeks.
Kiwibank CEO, Paul Brock, said that Kiwibank was proud to be supporting local communities celebrate their outstanding citizens over the past eight years.
“New Zealand has a long-standing tradition of community service. It’s therefore equally important that we have a tradition, like the Local Heroes Awards, where we can give our thanks to those who have improved the lives of others in their communities.”
The 2017 New Zealander of the Year Awards are presented in six award categories. The overall winner for each category will be announced at the New Zealander of the Year Awards Gala in February 2017.
In December, the judging panel - comprising representatives of all the awards patrons, presenters, sponsors, community leaders and independent experts - will announce the 10 semi-finalists for the Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year and supporting categories.
The categories are:
• The Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year
• The Metlifecare Senior New Zealander of the Year
• The University of Auckland Young New Zealander of the Year
• The Mitre 10 New Zealand Community of the Year
• The Sanitarium New Zealand Innovator of the Year
• The Kiwibank New Zealand Local Hero of the Year
Nicky Barton, 0273 060603
For images and further details on the recipients:
Glyn Taylor, New Zealander of the Year Awards, 021 671799, firstname.lastname@example.org
Back row (l to r): Mayor John Leggett, Olivia collecting on behalf of her father Daniel Smith, Greg Pask, Bruce South, Gina Anderson, Wayne Gander, Janette Walker, Geraldine van Wijngaarden, Mark Wiltshire of Kiwibank
Front row (l to r): Wendy Reynolds, Sara Hunter, Litty Newman, Rose Shallcrass, Caro Bartlett, Linda Holdaway, Denise Lloyd
Marlborough’s Local Heroes
Wayne Gander (Blenheim)
Wayne is a dedicated member of the Marlborough community through his various involvements.
He is currently Churchward Park Cubs leader, Marlborough Scouts training leader, Marlborough contingent jamboree leader and is the national member on the Scouting database group.
On a weekly basis, Wayne looks after the Churchward Park cub group, and when he is needed he assists his wife with Marlborough Girl Guides.
Wayne is a positive member of the Marlborough Zone Scouts, he encourages new members and often goes to different training events to build his knowledge and network within the Scouting community.
At the last jamboree in Fielding, Wayne was an enthusiastic member of the Marlborough contingent and he will be leading the next one here in Marlborough as contingent leader for the Marlborough troop.
Wayne has been involved in Scouting for nearly seven years, investing on average 15 hours a week volunteering, not only does he do a massive amount of work for the Scouting movement but he is involved back stage at the local musical theatre.
Geraldine van Wijngaarden (Blenheim)
At the beginning of November, Gerry retired after more than half a century of service to nursing in the Marlborough region.
Since April 2007, Gerry was a radiology nurse at Wairau Radiology based at Wairau Hospital. In this role she has been a strong patient advocate, and goes above and beyond to ensure that the needs of patients are met, often following up on their progress in her own time.
Gerry has also had a huge contribution to the success of the Churchill Trust Private Hospital. Not only was Gerry the first charge nurse manager of the unit, she was also a one of the leading contributors to setting up the private hospital.
Through Gerry’s career she has had a positive influence on the lives of many patients, their families and her colleagues. She is highly valued medical professional and a local hero to many in not just Marlborough but the rest of New Zealand.
Sarah Hunter (Blenheim)
Until her recent retirement from the role, Sarah was treasurer of Marlborough Family Budgeting Service. A voluntary position which she held for a number of years.
Sarah was a certificated budget adviser for nearly seven years and a member of the governance committee of Marlborough Family Budgeting Service for nine years.
She was also elected Family Budgeting Service district representative for the Nelson Marlborough district for three years, where she organized training and support meetings.
She also as represented her district at meetings of the New Zealand Federation of Family Budgeting Services in Wellington.
Sarah has ensured the development of the Marlborough Family Budgeting Service into a sustainable and progressive organisation that is making a difference in many lives.
Litty Newman (Blenheim)
Litty has been a budget advisor for the New Zealand Federation of Family Budgeting Services for the past eleven years, half of which was as a volunteer.
In that time she has helped hundreds if not thousands of families from Marlborough and further afield.
She has spent six years on the Governance Committee of the Family Budgeting Services, only retiring from this role earlier in the year.
Litty is recognised by her peers for her tenacity but also her compassion, respect and empathy for her clients.
Often working in a highly emotional and stressful environment Litty has provided truly valuable community service.
Linda Holdaway (Blenheim)
Linda continues to give back to her community through her life-long passion for music. As a teacher, mentor, performer and vocal coach she has been heavily involved in the success of the Blenheim Musical Theatre.
Linda’s teaching career began in 2009 as a keyboard teacher at Redwood Town Primary and Bohally Intermediate. In 2014, she moved to Queen Charlotte College teaching piano, singing and music theory.
In 2015 Linda formed a school choir as a volunteer singing coach, enabling her students to enter and participate in regional singing competitions.
For the past six years Linda has participated in a variety of musical theatre productions at the Blenheim Musical Theatre including All Shook Up, Chess and Mamamia.
Linda is an inspirational teacher who brings joy to all who she works with through her gift of music.
Greg Pask (Blenheim)
Greg has been a volunteer coach of the girl's recreational grades at the Blenheim Gymnastics Club for 17 years.
His support for the club's recreational programme has expanded and he now takes seven very large classes and assists with two more. He also runs the Club's Display Squad.
His involvement doesn't stop with coaching. He is also a member of the club committee and has been for some years. He assists in many of the fundraising activities and open days run by the club.
He has acted as the equipment coordinator for the Marlborough Gymnastics Championships for many years, a role that involves a considerable workload prior to, at and after the event in transporting all the gear from the gym to the Marlborough Lines Stadium.
Greg is well regarded by not only those he coaches but also parents and other club volunteers.
Gina Anderson (Blenheim)
Gina the creator of the Facebook page Care Packages Marlborough. The group makes and delivers free gift parcels to people across the region.
What started as a spur of the moment gesture has become ‘an online sensation’ and a huge amount of this success is down to Gina’s dedication and passion for helping others.
Care Packages Marlborough aims to helping people who are struggling and would benefit from a nice (and helpful) surprise. Gina’s home is now over run with boxes and bags filled with items people have kindly donated.
She takes the items such as handmade wooden toys, toiletries, baby clothes, nappies and perfumes and together with her two children, she repackages them ready to be delivered to someone in need.
Through using Facebook she has bought together a community of people and given them a platform to do good in the community.
Janette Walker (Blenheim)
A farmer advocate and 2014 Labour candidate for Kaikoura, Janette is no stranger to working within her community and she has been involved in John's Kitchen since last year.
Following John Symington’s retirement, Janette stepped into the role of coordinator for the kitchen which was renamed Crossroads Marlborough Charitable Trust.
Janette works tirelessly to provide a safe place for Blenheim residents to find food, companionship, advice, advocacy and referrals.
Every Wednesday, Crossroads provides a community meal. Bread is available for pick up from Mondays to Saturday and the Koha Café is open daily from 8.30am-1.30pm.
Janette works to secure sponsorship from local businesses to supply food, equipment and other supplies to help Crossroads run smoothly.
Denise Lloyd (Blenheim)
Denise has been a committed member of the Marlborough Hockey scene for almost 30 years as a player, coach and administrator.
Denise was a player with Arotea Kiwi from 1989 to 2015 and coached at Marlborough Girls College from 1989 to 2016 and coached at a regional level from 1998 to 2015.
Denise has been the chair of Hockey Marlborough for the past three years and her expertise has extended to managing the New Zealand Senior Women in 2014 and stepping into the role of assistant coach in 2015.
Denise has been a key contributor to the success of the sport of hockey in Marlborough over her career.
Wendy Reynolds (Blenheim)
Wendy is very active in her community and for a number of years has been running Eldercare programmes.
She is employed by St Christopher's Anglican Church for 20 hours per week but gives far more of her time to helping with the aged.
She runs monthly seminars for Age Concern, weekly walking groups, and also runs weekly talk tech teach sessions helping the aged with developing an understanding of modern technologies.
Wendy’s lessons have given her elderly clients the confidence to use their computers and tablets, allowing them to often connect with their children and grandchildren on the other side of the world more easily.
Wendy will make many house calls in her own time to help people to set up and use new technology.
Rose Shallcrass (Blenheim)
For 12 years, Rose has been involved in Blenheim Girl Guiding helping girls of all ages to challenge themselves and learn.
She has recently stepped up to run two additional Girl Guiding groups alongside her own.
This is a huge commitment with each group meeting once a week and plenty of work completed behind the scenes by Rose to make sure that every meeting runs smoothly.
Rose is someone who quietly involves people and runs programmes for girls of all ages. One of her strengths is offering the girls variety of camping experiences throughout the year as well.
Her commitment to enabling the development of young women has earned her the respect of the community and many local families.
Caro Bartlett (Rai Valley)
Caro is a community member who has tirelessly campaigned to retain and rebuild a local back country hut.
She has a variety of skills and has been able to raise the profile of the project through making awards applications – that have seen the project receive several accolades.
Caro gets stuck in physically to ensure that jobs get done and operates with heart despite many personal challenges.
Through Caro’s work the local hut will be enjoyed by many locals as well as visitors to the Marlborough region and New Zealand.
Daniel Smith (Kaikoura)
For more than four decades, Daniel has been giving back to his local community through his role as a volunteer ambulance officer with Kaikoura St John.
Since he began this role in 1965, Daniel has also contributed to many other areas of the Kaikoura community including a number of positions with the local search and rescue group for more than 30 years, positions on various school and community boards including chair of Kaikoura Information and Tourism, Marlborough Business Development Board and in 1996 he served as Mayor of Kaikoura.
In recent years he was appointed deputy chair of the chairs group of all the Enlarged Rural Fire Districts throughout New Zealand in 2014. He now represents rural fire services in discussions on the review of the Fire Service.
In 2015 he accepted invitation from the current St John Ambulance committee to take a leading role in developing plans for the town’s new ambulance rooms.
Bruce South (Picton)
Bruce is a longstanding stalwart of the Picton Cricket club where he has been an active member since 1993. During that time, he has held a number of committee positions and is currently in his second tenure as club president.
Bruce has lead numerous key strategic changes to the club to ensure its sustainability. This has included growing membership numbers, encouraging junior participation and raising the clubs profile.
Without the efforts of the entire Picton Committee, and in particular the endless hours put in by Bruce, it is likely the club would no longer be in existence, and the community would not have access to the sport of cricket.
Bruce invests a lot into the Picton community outside of cricket, as a member of the Picton Returned Servicemen Association, social club member of a local tavern and even working on a stall at market days for visiting cruise ships.