2023 Mayoral Awards Recipients
From hospital volunteers to sports coaches to predator trapping; these local legends make a huge contribution to their community and those in it.
Mayor David Trewavas was delighted to be able to formally recognise these people who work behind the scenes, often doing unpaid voluntary work over long periods of time to improve community wellbeing. Ka rawe!
Melissa has setup a support network for parents of children and adults in the Taupō District with special needs, providing an outlet for our local community to come together to share their experiences in a safe space.
Melissa is a mum of two beautiful children and despite any challenges that Melissa has faced with raising a child with additional needs, she has gone above and beyond to promote a support group that welcomes all.
With Melissa’s lead, the group has grown considerably and is a wonderful outlet and support for dedicated parents
Friends of the Emergency Department
FEDS is a volunteer group that has been running at Taupō Hospital for at least 10 years. They provide comfort and support to patients, their whanau and friends while they are in the Emergency Department at Taupo Hospital.
The volunteers do shifts at the Emergency Department each week, helping with stripping the beds, talking to the patients, supporting them and offering food and drink.
In times of distress, people need more than treatment; they also need information and support. Busy staff often don't have time to give patients and their families the support and reassurance they're looking for, this is where Friends of the Emergency Department can make a real difference.
Over the years, Brenda has volunteered in Tūrangi for many organisations including Tūrangi Foodbank, Senior Net, Garden Club, Tūrangi and District Women’s Club and Tūrangi Friends of the Library.
Brenda has volunteered her skills and time to ensure these organisations run competently and smoothly.
Based in Tūrangi, Brenda’s work at Tūrangi Foodbank supports many people and families in need, providing them food and resources. She also supports seniors in keeping up with technology and learning new skills, to enable them to connect with the world online.
Brenda is a shining example of someone who fosters connection for all residing in Tūrangi and the surrounding areas
Lake Taupō Volunteer Fire Brigade
The Lake Taupō Volunteer Fire Brigade’s many responsibilities include promoting fire safety and prevention measures, efficiently responding to, and suppressing, both structural and vegetation fires.
The Lake Taupō Volunteer Fire Brigade underscores how ordinary individuals can effect extraordinary change in times of crisis, ensuring the security and well-being of their fellow community residents.
Roger Nelson and Mike Alding accepted this award on behalf of the team at The Lake Taupō Volunteer Fire Brigade.
Brenda has volunteered at the Mangakino St John station for the last 18 years and is known and admired by all in the Mangakino community for her selfless giving of her time and energy.
Nothing is too much for Brenda. She attends all the functions at the lake front and in the town and is on call for locals 24/7. All these attributes have added to the quality of life for the Mangakino & district residents.
A proud influential grandmother, who’s teenage grandson is a volunteer firefighter and grand daughter is a St John Cadet, Brenda transports them and any other child to Tokoroa to participate.
Brenda is also a founding member of the Mangakino Line dancing group originally started at the St John hall.
Chris Johnston has volunteered in the Taupō community for many years. While running his own business, Chris has held governance roles that have been instrumental in the social, economic and arts arenas, and has worked tirelessly to make our district a better place to live, work and operate a business.
A board member for Towncentre Taupō for many years, Chris has used his skills to help leverage town activations for major events.
As a board member at Taupō Airport, Chris has used his energy and passion in the recent airport terminal upgrade.
As chair of the Waiora Community Trust, Chris has pushed hard on behalf of the board with the build of Waiora House, to ensure socially focused enterprise can thrive in our district.
Chris’s passion for this town, local businesses, the arts, and positive social change is inspiring and we are beyond fortunate to have him living here.
Clyff started a humble team of predator trappers six years ago with the aim of providing a safe home for the native bird population that spilled over from the Wairakei Golf and Sanctuary.
Now Clyff has a team of 60 volunteers looking after the Waikato River Corridor from Spa Park to Aratiatia Dam.
Clyff spends hours coordinating teams, applying for funding and monitoring progress to ensure the project remains sustainable.
There is so much amazing work along the Waikato River Corridor that is being done by a dedicated and hard-working team of volunteers. It takes a lot of coordination to ensure an effective and sustainable project and Clyff has worked incredibly hard to see this come to fruition
Rose Mansfield has volunteered her time and effort to Taupō Netball for over 25 years, starting from playing netball herself, to years of coaching teams.
She has coached some of our best top rep players in the Taupō region and as umpire coordinator, has trained our up-and-coming umpires, helping them to be confident and skilled.
The future of netball is brighter because of people like Rose giving all their time and energy to the sport for the love of it and the love of Taupō.
Mum of five kids and 15 grandkids, Rose’s dedication to her family, Taupō and Netball is one she can truly be proud of.
Jan has been nominated for her work with Taupo Swimming Club – which she has been involved with for many years.
Jan gained her qualifications as a timekeeper, inspector of turns, starter and referee and goes all over the region to assist all the swimmers.
Jan has voluntarily supported hundreds of kids who have completed the learn to swim programme.
Taupō Swimming Club also assist with the Spring Fling which is for adult swimmers, and Jan is always there as referee, making sure the swim meet runs to schedule and everyone has a great weekend.
Jan is an integral part of the Taupō Swimming Club and a true asset to our community.
Elvira has been coordinating and managing the International Mums Group, which welcomes mums from other countries who find themselves alone and wanting to fit into the local community.
Arriving here from the Philippines many years ago, Elvie helps women from over 20 countries to build networks and friendships.
Elvie makes sure that Mother’s Day, baby showers, and birthdays are celebrated and arranges for guest speakers and visits to the Taupō Library and local parks, while ensuring there are morning tea and lunch supplies for between ten to forty women.
Elvie is a gem in the community, and we are very fortunate to have her passion and support.
Val epitomises the Kiwi way of making good communities. In her ninth decade, Taupō has been lucky enough to benefit from Val’s commitment to community since she moved here over 30 years ago.
Val established English Language Partners, was a Justice of the Peace for over 20 years and served on numerous committees.
Val is Chairperson for Age Concern and runs a weekly Senior Social Connection Group. She is a member of the Waiora Community Trust, and has most recently been involved in the process of rebuilding Waiora House.
In the not-for-profit sector, Taupō has benefitted greatly from the management, governance and HR skills, Val has acquired over the years.
Val’s contribution to community wellbeing is amazing and we are lucky to have her in our community.
Freda has run the Aqua Fit classes as a volunteer at the Turtle Pools in Tūrangi for last six years.
The Tūrangi Kaumatua population has been engaged in these fitness activities, which assist with strength, balance, coordination and cardiac fitness. Freda also runs fitness, health and nutrition classes for all the community.
Freda’s dedication and passion has helped the community and is done in a non-judgmental, welcoming environment, affecting participants lives in a positive way.
It is a testimony to Freda's ability help the community with a core group of about 20 people who have been attending Freda's class for the past six years.
Since arriving in Mangakino, about three years ago, Marlene has instigated several new initiatives that are supporting and enabling the Mangakino community to thrive.
As General Manager of the Mangakino Central Community Trust, Marlene has organised the opening of a recycle shop, together with a monthly newspaper which includes local stories and services.
Marlene has organised the establishment of a Men's Shed, where people can share their building knowledge and ideas, while making repairs and creating small items for the community.
Marlene has also been instrumental in organising a local gym, an after-school programme and is currently establishing a toy library as well as spending time overseeing many volunteers in the community.
Cath from Kids Bike Taupo has been teaching young people how to ride bicycles since 2012, tirelessly going around to every school and early learning centre as well as sessions at various locations around the district to ensure every child has the opportunity to learn to ride.
Cath is self-directed, has clear goals for her work and is savvy in what she needs to get there.
Cath has had a huge positive impact on the lives of people young and old and truly is a gem of Taupō, whose impact will continue to be felt for years to come.
Toni Neve has done significant work towards empowering Taupō's Rainbow community, particularly for young people. The recent Taupō Pride Picnic is an example of this in action, but even outside of this event she embodies those values, encouraging her class kids to be themselves, while ensuring the environment is safe for everyone.
Young people in the rainbow community are up to 12 times more likely than their straight peers to commit suicide, with trans members being higher again.
Toni Neve's work with the Taupō rainbow community has a far-reaching impact and will help save lives.
Toni leads by example, she stands front and centre as an ambassador for the rainbow community and doesn't shy away from negativity. She is beacon of confidence and self-acceptance, showing others that they deserve love and happiness.