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.

Congratulations to the Wellington Airport Regional Community Awards 2021 - Regional Winners

  • Supreme Award: WELLfed
  • Arts and Culture: Ahu Charitable Trust ki Pukerua Bay – the Pukerua Bay Hub
  • Education and Child/Youth Development: Te Ara Korowai
  • Health and Wellbeing: WELLfed
  • Heritage and Environment: Animal Evac NZ
  • Sport and Leisure: Rotary Club of Plimmerton
  • Rising Star Award: Orange Sky
  • People’s Choice Award: Camp Quality

Watch the videos below to find out more about the 30 winning groups from around the region:

Ahu Charitable Trust ki Pukerua Bay (Pukerua Bay Hub)

Ahu Charitable Trust ki Pukerua Bay (Pukerua Bay Hub) enables the community to come together through art, culture, and educational activities. An annual Matariki Festival celebrates te ao Māori with art, performances, and a night walk through the magical Koawa Ngaro Secret Valley Walkway. Their mahi aims to better connect the local community making Pukerua Bay a more resilient and vibrant place to live.

Animal Evac NZ

Animal Evac is New Zealand’s only dedicated animal disaster management charity. 300 volunteers nationwide work with emergency services to help evacuate, shelter and re-unite animals with their families during disasters, to ensure that no animal is left behind. Between emergencies, they work with government on policy, communities on emergency preparedness, and councils on animal-friendly evacuation facilities.

Camp Quality

Camp Quality are a volunteer-led organisation providing fun, hope and happiness to children living with cancer. Every summer they take 300 cancer kids, and teams of amazing volunteers, on a week of fun and adventures. They passionately believe in the power of fun to help children and their families overcome the challenges of living with cancer.

Community Sports Bank

The Community Sports Bank, run by Wellington City Mission, collects second-hand and used sports and play gear and distributes it to kids and families through 12 sports banks across the region. They aim to reduce sport poverty and empower people to create wellness through sport and play, because kids who are more active are healthier, happier, and more connected.

Edible Earth Porirua

Edible Earth is a regenerative urban farm in Cannon's Creek, Porirua in partnership with WELLfed. Compost is used to rebuild soil and grow organic produce – turning an unused bowling green into ‘edible earth’ that feeds the land and people. Through worker bees, workshops, and volunteer sessions, they educate and inspire the community. They believe when compostable waste is treated as a valuable resource, we benefit our soil, produce healthier food, and help reverse climate change.

Food 4 Thought

Food 4 Thought is a grassroots community group who start and support many local projects and actions around food sources, waste, and the natural environment. They host regular workshops and free table exchange events where excess food, produce, seeds and resources are swapped or given freely. Their volunteers love working together to make a real difference and have lots of fun and laughter doing it!

Football for All (Wellington Phoenix)

The Football for All programme from Wellington Phoenix uses football as a vehicle to foster inclusivity, participation, and well-being. They aim to remove financial and logistical barriers for recent immigrant, refugee, and low socio-economic families to participate in football, and help bring communities closer together.

Friends of Waiwhetū Stream

Friends of Waiwhetū Stream are volunteer kaitiaki/guardians supported by Hutt City Council and Greater Wellington Regional Council. They care for the stream by monitoring stream health and running a variety of working bees to further enhance the stream corridor. Their vision for the Waiwhetū Stream is for it to be a healthy, diverse and thriving ecosystem within an attractive, well maintained stream corridor for the enjoyment and benefit of all.

Gender Minorities Aotearoa

Gender Minorities Aotearoa is a nationwide peer-led transgender public health organisation. They provide wrap around support for transgender people, including one to one peer support with healthcare navigation, housing, employment, education, and discrimination. This also includes community level work like training doctors and policy and legislative advocacy. They want Aotearoa to lead the way on human rights, health, and wellbeing for transgender people, and for everyone to be part of creating that reality.

Heretaunga Players

Heretaunga Players are a community theatre group in Upper Hutt who have been putting on amateur productions and entertaining audiences for over 70 years. They provide the Upper Hutt community members an opportunity to express their acting talents and get involved in community theatre on and off the stage.

Hutt Valley Sports Awards

The Hutt Valley Sports Awards Committee organise and run the Hutt regions sporting awards. The annual event, in collaboration with local corporate partners, recognises and celebrates the Hutt Valley’s sporting heroes and their achievements from grassroots volunteers through to elite athletes. They are passionate about sport and putting the Hutt Valley on the world stage.

Kāpiti Bears Rugby League Club

Kāpiti Bears is a club that is passionate about growing the sport of rugby league on the Kāpiti Coast. They are focused on junior rugby league and growing the game amongst women and girls. A new programme introduced rugby league to ten Kāpiti Primary schools, and over 2000 children, teaching fair play, life skills, and embracing our diverse communities. Kāpiti Bears is passionate about being inclusive and creating a club that is a safe haven for all families.

Kokiri Marae Pataka Kai

Kokiri Marae Pataka Kai responded to the need of the community during Covid-19, after food banks closed during the Level 4 lockdown in 2020. The Pataka Kai was quickly established to meet this need and distributed over 2,500 food parcels each week at Level 4. Their whakaaro is based on manaaki, and they continue to look after the community with kai parcels, an op shop and sewing hub, along with an abundant community garden.

L'Arche Kapiti

L’Arche Kapiti is a vibrant and diverse faith community of people with and without intellectual disabilities, committed to sharing life and building relationships together in Paraparaumu. They are part of a food resiliency project called Kai Ora Gardens, making compost and growing vegetables on L’Arche land to care for the land and connect and nourish the community. This is just one of the ways L’Arche is striving to create a more human society, together.

Lower Hutt Muslimah Committee

The Lower Hutt Muslimah Committee aim to empower the Islamic identity and support the Muslim women of Lower Hutt to gain skills and knowledge that will help them spiritually, socially, and economically. They advocate for our community and organise social, education and Islamic events that focus on serving Muslim women in Lower Hutt.  At these events they focus on tamariki and rangitahi to help foster a sense of belonging, identity, and culture.

Ngāti Toa Sea Scouts

The Ngāti Toa Sea Scout Group empower youth through adventurous experiences to lead lives that make a positive difference. 31 volunteer leaders provide active and ongoing education and youth development to 100+ Sea Scouts in the Porirua community. Ngāti Toa Sea Scouts are passionate about making a positive difference and a strong contribution to the development of local youth.

Orange Sky Wellington

Orange Sky is the world's first free mobile laundry service non-profit organisation that positively connects communities. They provide warm showers, clean laundry and genuine, non-judgmental conversations to people doing it tough, supporting some of the 41,000 New Zealanders that find themselves homeless each night. Orange Sky believe every person should feel connected and welcome in a safe environment, regardless of their living circumstances.

Ōrongomai Marae

Ōrongomai Marae is an urban marae built and run by the people in the community. During level 4 lockdown they opened a kai bank to supply emergency packs to people within Upper Hutt including food, fruits and vegetables, groceries, and essentials. The Marae also provide services including Hauora, social service, reintegration, Whānau Resilience and Whānau Harm programmes. Ōrongomai Marae are passionate about providing a safe place for their community.

Pablos Art Studios

Pablos Art Studios is a small non-profit Creative Space in the heart of Te Whanganui-a-Tara, Wellington. They provide a free, inclusive, safe, and warm environment for over 100 artists to explore their creativity. They passionately believe mental wellbeing can be supported through the creative processes encouraged within the Pablos studio; and strive to enrich the lives of their artists with mana, self-worth, and confidence.

Pickle Pot Be-In

ThePickle Pot Be-In is a free participation oriented, day music festival in Paekākāriki, spearheaded by possibly the youngest festival organisation team in the world! The festival attracts over 500 attendees and 50 volunteers who are empowered with the responsibility to showcase their talents. The desire is to see young people inspired by this step away from society, embracing the talents they discovered and practiced at Pickle Pot.

Rotary Club of Plimmerton

Rotary Club of Plimmerton take on a wide variety of projects designed to make a difference in the community. 20 years ago, a Rotarian had a dream of building a pathway around the Pauatahanui Inlet, and a joint project with the club, Porirua City and the community made the Te Ara Piko Pathway a reality. The pathway was designed to enhance the beautiful environment it transverses and is enjoyed by 65,000 visitors each year.

Te Ara Korowai

Te Ara Korowai is a creative wellbeing centre in Raumati Beach. They offer free creative and wellbeing classes to the community, with a special focus on those going through a tough time with mental health, and those with disabilities. During lockdown, staff and volunteers ran all classes online via Zoom to keep members connected and supported. They are passionate about supporting positive mental health in our community, and providing a safe, supportive place to connect, participate and learn new skills.

Te Rito Maioha

Te Rito Maioha is a community organisation who teach wahine Māori to raranga (weave). Tuition, tools and access to harakeke are freely provided through courses delivered at Wainuiomata Marae. Raranga is the birth right of every wahine Māori, and Te Rito Maioha is a connector for wahine to share this experience, learn, and in time contribute back to whanau, hapu and iwi.

Urban Wildlife Trust

Urban Wildlife Trust delivers projects which celebrate native wildlife in cities and towns. They connect people with nature through citizen science projects like the Great Kererū Count; wildlife cams, like Kororā Cam; and city-based initiatives to protect wildlife like injured bird rescue, road caution signs and window markers. They believe our best cities and towns are places where native wildlife thrives and is part of our daily lives.

Vulnerable Support Charitable Trust - Do Some Good

Vulnerable Support Charitable Trust run a food programme called Do Some Good. It provides a selection of food to lower decile schools throughout Wellington. The food is used for both breakfast and lunch and is accessible to all tamariki at school. They also run school volunteer days connecting corporate volunteers and schools to complete jobs such as gardening and painting. By making sure kids have a full tummy, they improve their ability to learn and focus every day.


WELLfed nourishes communities through food and connections. Their vision is that everyone has choices, resources and skills for living well. They provide a food-centred community adult-education programme, also offering extra growth and leadership opportunities. WELLfed aims to contribute to a future where Porirua is looked to as a model for social wellbeing, and its people are even more independent and powerful.

YMCA Upper Hutt

Raise Up is YMCA's youth development program for young people aged 12 - 18. It is run by youth for youth, offering a place to find support and foster a sense of pride for themselves and their community, find their voice and thrive. They organise regular weekly activities, events, workshops, and personal development opportunities. They empower youth to be the voice of our community.

Zero Waste Ōtaki

Zero Waste Ōtaki is actively committed to diverting waste from landfill, pathways to employment and community engagement and education. They have begun with recycling and upcycling domestic wood; and are expanding to commercial wood, and in the long term will divert other waste streams from landfill. Their volunteers are passionate about community, sustainability and actively reducing waste.