Kiwi Community Assistance named Supreme Award winners at Wellington Airport Regional Community Awards

18 Nov 2022

Kiwi Community Assistance (KCA) have been named Supreme Award winners at the 2022 Wellington Airport Regional Community Awards tonight.

KCA helps communities throughout Wellington by rescuing surplus food and household goods, and redistributing it to frontline agencies working directly with people in need. Their dedicated team of 60 volunteers rescue around 1.3 tonnes of surplus food each day.

KCA also carries out cardboard recycling for supermarkets, composting, and helps with the donation of many non-food items such as clothing, linen, school supplies and Christmas presents to people in need.

Tracy Wellington, Founder of Kiwi Community Assistance said: “We are very humbled by this award. It’s great recognition for all of our volunteers, sponsors and supporters who make our work possible.”

Matt Clarke, chief executive of Wellington Airport said: “Choosing a Supreme Award winner was a tough job for the judges this year, but Kiwi Community Assistance are very deserving recipients.”

“The selfless work they do helps to improve the lives of so many people in our community.”

Wellington Airport has also awarded five local high school students $1,000 scholarships in the annual Wild at Heart Spirit Awards. These winners demonstrate self-motivation in service to their community and college.

Wellington Airport Regional Community Awards 2022 Winners

  • Supreme Award: Kiwi Community Assistance
  • Arts and Culture: Hutt Multicultural Council Inc
  • Education and Child/Youth Development: Paekākāriki Surf Lifeguards
  • Health and Wellbeing: Kiwi Community Assistance
  • Heritage and Environment: Energise Ōtaki
  • Sport and Leisure: Coastguard Wellington
  • Rising Star Award: Silver Noodle Soup
  • People’s Choice Award: Āhuru Mōwai Trust

2022 Wild at Heart Spirit Award Scholarship recipients

  • Jack Harris - Rongotai College
  • Alexandra Wilson - St Catherine’s College
  • Dimitri Economou - St Patrick’s College
  • Nicolas Volpicelli-Muollo - Scots College
  • Scarlett James - Wellington East Girls’ College


Background on the Community Awards

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. The focus of the awards is to celebrate volunteers for their valuable contribution to society. This year marks the 18th anniversary of the awards.

The awards start with Wellington’s five councils awarding volunteer organisations in their local community under the following categories: Art & Culture, Education and Child/Youth Development. Health and Wellbeing, Heritage and Environment, Sport and Leisure, plus a Rising Star Award for emerging groups.

The finalists from each region then go forward to the Wellington Airport Regional Community Awards for the overall award in their category, and the opportunity to be named Supreme Winner.

Art & Culture category winner – Hutt Multicultural Council Inc

Hutt Multicultural Council promotes and celebrates cultural and ethnic diversity in Hutt City. They showcase the cities diverse cultures, collaborate with like-minded organisations and actively make submissions on policy matters affecting ethnic communities. They bridge the differences and celebrate the similarities between the many ethnic communities that call Hutt City home.

Awards video

Education & Child Youth Development winner - Paekākāriki Surf Lifeguards
Paekākāriki Surf Lifeguards is a volunteer club that has been patrolling the Kapiti Coast for over 100 years. They have a large active membership of junior surf “Nippers” and senior members (14 years+) and offer competitive training squads for surf sports. They encourage children to have fun and develop their skills, so they can enjoy the beach and one day might be able to save someone else too.

Awards video

Health & Wellbeing winner and Supreme Award - Kiwi Community Assistance
For over 10 years, Kiwi Community Assistance, (KCA) has strived to alleviate food poverty and inequality with a hand up, not a hand out. As a one-stop hub their volunteers have distributed essentials including food (335 tons), clothing (4805 banana boxes), furniture and whiteware through their 80+ charity partners to where it's needed in the community.

Awards video

Heritage & Environment category winner – Energise Ōtaki
Energise Ōtaki connects Ōtaki’s power source - its people - with energy projects that help make healthy environments. They partner with organisations and volunteers to reduce energy poverty, waste and climate emissions, and boost renewable energy systems. Initiatives include bike upcycling, home insulation, tree planting, energy education, repair cafes and Aotearoa’s first community-owned solar farm.

Awards video

Sport & Leisure category winner – Coastguard Wellington
Coastguard Wellington is the 100% volunteer run charity saving lives at sea. Their team of around 70 highly trained volunteers provide the primary maritime search and rescue in New Zealand. They are dedicated to helping those in need, ready to drop everything and go at a moment’s notice.

Awards video

Rising Star Award winner – Silver Noodle Soup
Silver Noodle Soup are a theatre and film-making company of young disabled people, tutors and videographers. They run drama workshops, make movies and perform live in venues like Bats Theatre and events like Disability Pride Week. They love acting, singing, meeting new people and making films together.

Awards video

People’s Choice Award winner - Āhuru Mōwai Trust
Āhuru Mōwai Trust provides safe spaces for families who have children with special and extra needs. They advocate for and partner with local businesses and community facilities to make spaces more accessible and tailored to sensory needs. Their vision is to provide options for families to make their world bigger, not smaller.

Awards video

2022 Wild at Heart Spirit Award Scholarship recipients:

Jack Harris - Rongotai College

Jack is a motivated student leader from Rongotai College, holding the roles of Prefect and leader of the schools’ Interact Service Club. Through this, Jack has led a team of over 70 students to participate in a wide variety of events and fundraising initiatives supporting community groups and charities. Jack is also a member of the Student Volunteer Army, earning badges for services to the community through volunteering.

Alexandra Wilson - St Catherine’s College

Alexandra is a dedicated student leader from St Catherine’s College serving as a School Librarian, House Captain, and a member of the School Council and Community Committee. Alex looks after the wellbeing of other students in the roles of Peer Support and Whanau Hauora Leader and was recognised with a Wellington City Council Award for International Excellence as an international student champion. Alex is a keen volunteer for many community initiatives including local St Anthony’s school fundraisers, visiting the Vincentian Home and making masks for Wellington Children’s Hospital early in the pandemic.

Dimitri Economou - St Patrick’s College

Dimitri is an involved student leader from St Patrick’s College, serving as Deputy Manu Taupua Matua (Deputy Head Boy) and Head Librarian. Dimitri takes on a leadership and mentoring role with younger students especially in the Design and Visual Communication programme. Dimitri instigated a new Clubs Expo event to showcase the schools’ non-sports clubs, create new clubs and help students’ find their place to contribute in an inclusive and safe environment. Dimitri also co-organised a wellbeing video with students from sister school St Catherine’s College.

Nicolas Volpicelli-Muollo - Scots College

Nicolas is a talented student leader from Scots College with a philanthropic outlook. He raised $55,000 for the new Wellington Children’s Hospital to provide 50 smart TVs – one for every room to improve the hospital experience for sick children. Nicolas was recently awarded the mayoral Absolutely Positively Wellingtonian Student Award recognising outstanding community service. Nicolas is also an active member of Wellington’s Garibaldi Club supporting and celebrating Italian culture.

Scarlett James - Wellington East Girls’ College

Scarlett is an active student leader from Wellington East Girls’ College serving as a Peer Tutor, a member of the Environment Committee and FeminEast Club and representing Wellington in the Under 18 Water Hockey Team. Through the Duke of Edinburgh programme and as a member of the Student Volunteer Army, Scarlett has contributed over 200 volunteer hours to various community initiatives. Scarlett also volunteers with the Girls and Boys Brigade and at El Rancho camp.