Celebrating our volunteers

Published on 21 August 2023

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Caption: Winners and runners-up for the Wellington Airport Regional Awards; His Worship Mayor Wayne Guppy, Upper Hutt City Council; and Jo Maxwell, Brand and Sponsorship Manager, Wellington Airport

The spirit of volunteerism and community dedication took centerstage at Whirinaki Whare Taonga last Tuesday night at the joint awards night for Upper Hutt Civic Awards and Wellington Airport Regional Community Awards. Three outstanding members of our community were awarded the Upper Hutt Civic Awards and twenty-two finalists competed for the overall award in their category for the latter, and for the opportunity to be named “Supreme Winner”.

The highlight of the evening was the crowning of the "Supreme Winner" which went to the Friends of the Mawaihakona Stream. Two retired old boys from St Patrick’s College, Silverstream, started this grassroot initiative twenty years ago to restore the gorse and blackberry ridden Mawaihakona Stream. The Friends of Mawaihakona Stream is now completely supported by community volunteers, schools and local organisations. It has become a favourite local spot for community connection and recreation.

The Friends of the Mawaihakona Stream expressed their gratitude for the recognition, saying, "We are humbled by this honour and deeply thankful for the support we've received from our community. What began as a simple idea by two old blokes to enhance our local environment has blossomed into a powerful force for positive change. This award is a testament to the dedication of every individual who has contributed to the success of the Friends of Mawaihakona Stream."

The recipients of this year’s Civic Awards were Malcom Gillies, John and Judy Harrison and Bill Lindsay.

“The intention of the Civic Awards is to provide recognition for outstanding meritorious tribute of services by our citizens to our Upper Hutt community. We are thankful to many of our citizens who contributed to the betterment and advancement of Upper Hutt,” said His Worship Mayor Wayne Guppy. “These awards are one of my favourite events of the year as they acknowledge the hard work our volunteers do and thank them for their wonderful and selfless contribution to our city. We are incredibly lucky to have them!”

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Caption: (From left to right) John and Judy Harrison, St John’s Church, Trentham; Malcom Gillies, The Gillies Group; Bill Lindsay, Rimutaka Lions; and His Worship Mayor Wayne Guppy, Upper Hutt City Council

The Wellington Airport Regional Community Awards celebrate the heroes in our Upper Hutt community who volunteer in our community to make Upper Hutt a better place for our residents and visitors.

Jo Maxwell, Brand and Sponsorship Manager from Wellington Airport who was one of the judges, said that Wellington Airport was proud to celebrate the outstanding work of community groups in Upper Hutt in the last twelve months. “We had a record number of nominations across the region in the awards this year. Twenty-two Upper Hutt finalist groups stood out for the amazing mahi they do to help others in the community and thoroughly deserve recognition for this. Their efforts resonate with our commitment to making a positive difference in the regions we serve. Congratulations to all the winners, and best of luck for the Regional Community Awards finals later this year.”

The winners of the Wellington Airport Regional Community Awards were:


Winner – Every Body is a Treasure

Runner Up – The Hutt Valley Singers


Winner – #Hangout - Youth Health and Wellbeing

Runner Up – Te Marua Playcentre


Winner – Upper Hutt Charitable Housing Trust

Runner Up – Upper Hutt Autism Group


Winner – Friends of the Mawaihakona Stream

Runner Up – Upper Hutt Repair Café Trust


Winner – Upper Hutt Rams Rugby Football Club

Runner Up – Upper Hutt Floorball Club


Winner – #Hangout - Youth Health and Wellbeing

The event was a reminder of the importance of volunteerism in building strong and resilient communities. Upper Hutt continues to thrive through the collective efforts and dedication of our volunteers. Their commitment and dedication demonstrate the positive change that can emerge when people come together for a common cause.


For more information on Wellington Airport Regional Community Awards: click here