2023 Regional Winners
Every year, Wellington Airport and the five local councils come together to recognise the work carried out by community groups in the wider Wellington region in the Wellington Airport Regional Community Awards. The focus of the awards is to celebrate volunteers for their valuable contribution to society.
The region-wide winners will be announced on Thursday 16 November.
Watch the videos below to find out more about the 30 winning groups from around the region:
#Hangout - Youth Health and Wellbeing
#Hangout - Youth Health & Wellbeing is a volunteer run youth group in Upper Hutt for rangatahi aged 11-18 years. They provide a safe space for youth to relax, play sports and games, meet new people and participate in fun activities and outings. They also provide access to free counselling and mentoring, helping ensure the youth of their community have a positive and healthy future.
Āhuru Mōwai Trust
Āhuru Mōwai Trust support families who have children with extra or special needs by creating connections and raising awareness. They increase opportunities and accessibility for these families by partnering with local councils, businesses and service providers. The trust have facilitated over 200 sensory sessions and events around the region in the last year, with more dedicated spaces to come. Āhuru Mōwai Trust helps families to find support, take a breath and exhale.
Arohanui Strings mission is to create social change through the power of music. They offer free music lessons in-school and after-school, along with performance opportunities to children who probably wouldn’t otherwise learn to play a string instrument. They believe that all children have the right to a high-quality musical education.
Atafu Tokelau Community Group
When many Tokelauans arrived in New Zealand in the 1950s and 1960s, Atafu Tokelau Community Group was founded. Their purpose-built premises Matauala is in Cannons Creek, Porirua, home to the largest population of Tokelauans outside of Tokelau. They support their communities through religious, social, educational, health and welfare development, along with language and traditional cultural values. Their cultural practice “inati” ensures everyone receives an equitable share of communal resources and the wellbeing of the whole family.
Birthright Hutt Valley
Birthright Hutt Valley supports single caregiver whānau throughout the Hutt Valley. They offer an in-home social work service, access to free resources and kai plus support with school uniforms and other costs. Birthright Hutt Valley wants to reduce the inequities suffered by tamariki and rangatahi from single caregiver whānau. Their vision is for whānau to be empowered, informed and resilient, so they can reach their full potential.
Capital Kiwi Project
Capital Kiwi Project's mission is to restore a large-scale wild kiwi population to Wellington’s backyard. The project spans 23,000 hectares, from Red Rocks in the south, to west of Porirua. A collaboration between locals, landowners, iwi and funders saw a 4500-trap network deployed to target the #1 threat to juvenile kiwi: stoats. This year, 50 kiwi travelled from Maungatautari to whakakāinga anō (make their homes again) in the wild west of Wellington in one of the largest kiwi translocations undertaken.
Capital Theatre Trust
Capital Theatre Trust encourages participation in performing arts through productions, workshops and community collaboration. They presented the large-scale musical Les Miserables at the refurbished St. James Theatre together with G&T Productions and Wellington’s theatre community. Special performances for vision and hearing-impaired audiences, included an interactive stage tour, audio described performance and a fully signed live performance. Volunteers are the heart of everything, sharing energy, skills, training opportunities, friendship and celebrating success.
Common Unity Project Aotearoa
Common Unity Project dream of a world where communities are connected, empowered and activated to exercise sovereignty over their food systems, starting in our backyard in Epuni, Te Awa Kairangi ki Tai. They are a kaupapa that revolves around sustainable, circular living. Central to this is a reconnection with whenua and guidance from mātauranga Māori and the local history of the land is vital and enriching for all people.
Every Body is a Treasure
In 2017, Every Body is a Treasure started a grass roots body positive movement with women and youth. This year their documentary about that adventure comes out. Then a cool thing happened – the youth started taking over. They felt that the mainstream media doesn't always get youth stories correct, so the trust supported them to start their own media outlet, Create Happy Media. Their teen-run magazine unites & celebrates the stories of rangatahi in Aotearoa, with plans underway to grow the network through podcasting.
Everybody Eats is a charitable dining concept on a mission to reduce food waste, food poverty & social isolation in Aotearoa. Incredible volunteers help Everybody Eats to transform rescued food into 3-course meals which are served at their restaurants on a koha basis. At Everybody Eats, they want to feed bellies not bins and bring people together over good food.
Friends of the Mawaihakona Stream
The Friends of the Mawaihakona Stream vision is to revegetate the stream banks and acknowledge the early history of the area through Maori carvings. As kaitiaki they have planted over 12,000 trees and constantly maintain the stream, banks and tracks, and commissioned 6 pou and a waharoa to remember those who settled before us. The community now enjoys a beautiful area, birds and wildlife are flourishing and we are inspiring future conservationists.
Kāpiti Boating Club
Kāpiti Boating Club is a community focused family club which promotes safe fishing and boating activities. They offer an inclusive social environment with Family Days, and Events run throughout the year, as well as hosting a range of charity fundraisers. They aim to be more than just a club -bringing the community together through promoting safe and friendly water sport activities, whilst providing a welcoming environment for all those on the Kāpiti coast.
Kāpiti Community Foodbank
Kāpiti Community Foodbank is a not-for-profit organisation providing compassionate support to meet emergency food needs in the local community. In the last 12 months they supported 7600 people in need. In the last 18 months, with the support of the Kāpiti community and businesses the foodbank have developed a purpose-built premises to enable them to continue to operate.
Kāpiti Kindness Trust
Kāpiti Kindness Trust facilitates and celebrates community connection through kindness on the Kapiti Coast. Their Kindness Kaupapa acknowledges members of the community that perform outstanding kindness through monthly awards. They run a range of Kindness Projects funded by donations and provide support for those experiencing difficult times. They aim to bring their community closer together through the medium of kindness.
MIX Lower Hutt
MIX is a not-for-profit organisation based in the Hutt Valley supporting people who have experienced or are experiencing mental health distress. Their wellbeing and creative arts programmes aim to increase people’s confidence and personal skills while on their road to recovery. They promote the 5 Ways of Wellbeing: Take Notice, Give, Be Active, Connect and Keep Learning. At Mix, people connect, express themselves creatively, and have a sense of belonging.
Mountains to Sea Wellington
Mountains to Sea Wellington brings together science and education with inclusive and engaging programmes including Whitebait Connection, Experiencing Marine Reserves, Wai Connection and Love Rimurimu. They help school kids and community groups explore and restore the beautiful natural environments across the Wellington Region, from freshwater streams to salty coasts. Through their free Snorkel Days, they share the beauty and awe of our marine reserves, seaweed forests and their creatures.
NZRT18 – Hutt City Emergency Response Team
Hutt City Emergency Response Team NZRT18 are the local Civil Defence team, dedicated to safeguarding the entire Hutt City community. They provide a round-the-clock emergency response to ensure the safety and well-being of the community. Driven by volunteer spirit, the team undergoes rigorous training, from urban search and rescue to medical care, to be prepared for any situation. NZRT18 extend their assistance beyond Hutt City's borders when needed, including supporting the Gisborne & Hawkes Bay emergency response earlier this year.
Paekākāriki Pride brings people together in the spirit of love, connecting Rainbow communities, their families and the wider community. They celebrate with a fun, inclusive Pride festival over Labour weekend in Kapiti Coast’s Paekakariki Village. They raise awareness of the needs, realities and activism of our takatāpui trans, lesbian, gay, bisexual, pan and intersex communities. With KCDC funding they are expanding their collaboration with Rainbow communities throughout the district to scope a Kapiti-wide Pride Hub. Through understanding and inclusion, they aim to show younger queer generations that the Kāpiti district can be a safe place for them.
Plimmerton Volunteer Fire Brigade
Since 1934, around a hundred times a year, Plimmerton Volunteer Fire Brigade has served their community through every type of emergency and disaster. Now, the community, and even their station itself is threatened by climate change. They are working hard with their community to plan and respond to the growing threats we expect from flooding, slips and storm impacts in this changing, challenging future.
Porirua Multicultural Council
Porirua Multicultural Council is a non-profit organisation with passionate volunteers who represent their diverse community. They support former refugees and migrants and promote positive race relations through engagement, advocacy and education. Initiatives include community workshops, leadership opportunities for rangatahi and a new community hub in the heart of Porirua. Their vision is to empower a Te Tiriti based multicultural community, connecting everyone who calls Aotearoa home.
Special Olympics Te Whanganui-a-Tara
Special Olympics Te Whanganui-a-Tara enriches the lives of people with an intellectual disability through sport. They run training and competition in several sports – but it’s not just about winning medals. It’s about doing your best, making friends and having fun. Special Olympics wants to see a society where people with intellectual disabilities are valued.
Taumata Whitireia are a collective of Whitireia Performing Arts graduates. They promote diversity, cultural pride and cultural inclusion. They are dedicated to utilising the stage to inspire, share cultural knowledge, make connections explore and discover a sense of cultural identity through performing arts. They recently performed at International Festivals in Italy. Taumata Whitireia believe it is honour and a privilege to serve their local communities through cultural arts.
Te Ngākau Kahukura o Te Awakairangi (TNK)
Te Ngākau Kahukura o Te Awakairangi (TNK) s a community led, not for profit kaupapa Māori organisation dedicated to serving takatāpui and their whānau. In the heart of Epuni, Te Whare Kahukura is our safe space, bringing together our rainbow whānau to engage with health and social services and access educational resources. TNK aims to create spaces to celebrate diversity across Te Awa Kairangi - one heartbeat at a time.
Upper Hutt Housing Trust
Upper Hutt Housing Trust was formed 7 years ago as a response to a snowballing housing crisis and the loss of local state housing. The trust currently houses over 50 households. They run a Ready to Rent Programme which helps people to secure housing and a Ready to Work Programme which improves the financial capability of tenants. Their vision is for all our people in Upper Hutt to have suitable and sustainable housing.
Upper Hutt Rams RFC
The Upper Hutt Rams RFC provides the structure and support for over 430 children and 350 adults to play the great games of rugby and netball in Upper Hutt. Entirely run by volunteers, the Rams are passionate about their club and the unsung heroes who go above their duties to help many of the community participate in the sports they love.
Volunteer Kāpiti's mission is to build the capability of the Kāpiti community sector through connection, collaboration and volunteering expertise. As part of the Capable Sector Project, they provide a mentoring programme. Kāpiti Community leaders are matched with skilled volunteer mentors for a 6-month Mentoring Foundation NZ programme. Supporting community leaders to connect and learn from each other enables a thriving community - working together for the wellbeing of everyone.
Wellington Riding for the Disabled
Wellington Riding for the Disabled (RDA) provides a unique and high-quality therapy using horses for people with disabilities. They enhance education, development, social and health and wellbeing. Qualified Coaches develop individualised plans for each rider and are supported by the volunteer team. Their goal is to make a difference in riders lives to achieve positive outcomes and have success that transfer into everyday life. The Wellington RDA vision is to “Reach More Riders Change More Lives.” This year Wellington Riding for Disabled celebrates its 50th Birthday!
Whareroa Guardians Community Trust
Whareroa Guardians Community Trust values and cares for the 1000 acre Whareroa Farm Reserve near Paekakariki. They restore native forest, streams and wetlands with over 70,000 trees planted since 2007. Volunteers build tracks for active recreation and areas for peace and quiet. The Guardians want to restore this land and the environment for wildlife and the community - for our grandchildren’s grandchildren.
WIDance works towards creating an inclusive environment where people with and without disabilities have an equitable opportunity to engage in dance experiences. They are an inclusive contemporary dance provider, with classes, workshops and performance opportunities throughout the Wellington region. WIDance believe that dance is a beautiful equalizer that comes with a multitude of benefits. Through dance, they aspire to foster a happier, more connected and inclusive society.
TERMS & CONDITIONS
- Competition closes 9am Friday 3 November 2023.
- Entry is by placing a vote via the online entry form. Only one vote will be accepted for each person. You can vote for a group you are a member of.
- The community group that receives the most votes will receive a $2,000 cash award plus a digital advertising package to the value of $10,000 at Wellington Airport (advertising dates to be agreed subject to availability).
- One random prize draw will be held to select a winning voter who will receive a $250 shopping spree at Wellington Airport.
- The People’s Choice award winner will be announced along with the other Wellington Airport Regional Community Awards at the celebration dinner on Thursday 16 November 2023.