The work of community volunteers has been appreciated and applauded by Puketāpapa Local Board at an awards ceremony in Three Kings.
“Our volunteers are the backbone of our communities," said Harry Doig, Chair of Puketāpapa Local Board.
"We are grateful for their selfless work in keeping our communities connected and their contribution to people’s wellbeing."
Meet the winners
Anne Graham is a retired nurse and has volunteered at Mt Roskill Citizen's Advice Bureau for 12 years. Ms Graham and her husband Cecil have been married for 52 years and out of these they have lived in Puketapapa for 51.
Together they deliver the Police newsletters in the area, belong to the local Church, and St Andrews Rd tennis club. Ms Graham is also known to make casseroles and cakes in the past for neighbours in need.
Chris teaches maths at Lynfield College. He coordinates activities and opportunities for young people to get involved in local environmental initiatives. Through varied activities, Chris’ main aim is to encourage young people to get involved with protecting and enhancing the local ecology, whilst learning about the natural world and the amazing plants and creatures that make Aotearoa so special.
He is particularly excited about the Wairaki stream reserve and the large piece of gully forest contains wonderful habitat for a variety of native wildlife, as well as some rare and unusual plants.
Jeet Suchdev, JP and QSM
Mr Suchdev is originally from India and has been involved in community work in Puketapapa and wider Auckland since 1995. This has included assistance to new migrants which eventually saw him create the Bhartiya Samaj Charitable Trust in 2001.
Bhartiya Samaj has evolved to become a vibrant and successful community organization that serves the needs of the elderly and children and its work in migrant settlement and empowerment of women from South Asian communities has been richly recognized.
Ms Tudhope is the Branch Coordinator for Bellyful Central Auckland. Bellyful is a national not for profit charity with 21 branches throughout New Zealand. Bellyful cooks and delivers free meals to families with newborn babies and families with young children who are struggling with illness, particularly those without a good support network. Last year they delivered over 1000 meals to Central Auckland families.
As Branch Coordinator Jen leads, recruits, trains and manages a fabulous team of volunteers. She is also responsible for securing sponsorship and funding for the organisation as well as overseeing the community awareness events, like the monthly ‘cookathons’.
All of this is done in the 10-15 hours per week that Jen volunteers each week!
Ms Chiang has been practising, teaching and promoting the benefits of Tai chi for the past 15 years at no cost. She prefers to say that she shares her joy of Tai chi by encouraging everyone joining her in enjoying this ancient Chinese exercise of knowing your body's movement.
Her group has Tai chi sessions every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning at the Fickling Centre in Three Kings, and its free of charge for everyone who has time to come and enjoy Tai chi.
Keith and Kathy Turner
Keith and Kathy Turner are at the helm of Waikowhai Scouts. Kathy has been Scout Leader at Waikowhai since 1997 working with both boys and girls who are involved in many outdoor activities and community service tasks. Through these, they are challenged to increase their own self-confidence, develop leadership skills and push their own personal limits. It has been a joy over the years to see so many achieve and become leaders in our society.
Keith has spent time as leader of the older Venturer Section as well as Group Leader for Waikowhai Scouts. He is a member of the wider Akarana Zone Team as Quartermaster and was for six years an Auckland representative on Scouts National Council.
Ms Heta is a social worker by training and grew up in Mt Roskill, in a Housing New Zealand home. She attended the local schools and later went to University. One of her social work placements was at Te Manawanui Charitable Trust which turned into a job.
It’s here that has since worked tirelessly for families needing emergency housing in Mt Roskill. She is known to go beyond the call of duty for her community and volunteer. She ran a Zumba class for many years from the Oasis Hub - the only charge was a gold coin.
Mrs Bourne is one of the members that started Mt Roskill Community Patrol. She had worked hard to connect the group with the community, by going to different community meetings, including council meetings and also the Community Police to see how best the patrol can service our area.
Mr Pua is the Secretary of the Samoan Catholic Community - Balmoral, one of the 25 communities of the Samoan Catholic Chaplaincy of Auckland. At 23, Paul became the youngest elected leader in the history of the Chaplaincy.
Balmoral has had its historical challenges and he was determined to implement activities and events that would help the community move on from its past and look ahead to rebuilding its community.
Paul’s strategic focus and guidance helped with the community’s need to rebuild relations with the wider community. Most recently, Paul led the organising of the community’s first charity event for the Breast Cancer Foundation, with the focus on raising awareness on health and the importance of women’s role in modern society.
He devotes some of his time to engaging with the Pacific people of Mt Roskill through various roles in education and local politics, providing advice and support to those in need.
Mr McDougall has been teaching and coaching chess for school students for the past thirteen years. He started at Hillsborough Primary and currently works with Hay Park School, Mt Roskill Intermediate and Mt Roskill Grammar, amongst others.
In this time, he has taught over 2000 students to play, and some he has coached from Year 0 right through to year 13. Some have taught have gone on to international chess success and titles. Mr McDougall has taken school teams to compete nationally and internationally with great success.
Under his guidance. children of all nationalities play together. Female students from the region have done very well, repeatedly winning New Zealand Girls Schools Championships at Primary, Intermediate and Secondary. Last year a team of four girls won the Australasian School Girls Secondary championship.
Ms Tanuvasa is a local and passionate mother who has been volunteering at the local youth facility and running the Kidszone programme for local children in the last four years starting after school and until she locks up the centre late at night. She always works beyond her volunteering hours, making sure every local child has been looked after. Four years of her volunteering service has impacted many children and families, and she does not expect anything in return.
KidsZone is a place for kids to do fun activities, arts and crafts and sports. It's held every Friday during the school term at Roskill Youth Zone. Its a place and space where kids can be kids using activities around creativity, exploring and learning more about themselves, their identity and decision making and of course having fun.
Jo Excell is better known as Aunty Jo in the community. She has been a community stalwart and a passionate and persistent advocate for advocate for improvements to the Mt Roskill shopping centre area including better shops, pedestrian safety and Christmas lights.
For years Aunty Jo organized a Christmas party free for young children gathering presents from many businesses. She also helps the Ronald Macdonald House and pushed for new pedestrian crossings on May Road and Mt Albert Road where she lives.
The award that Jo received was one which she earned in 2006 but was never officially presented with. Several years later, Jo has now been publicly recognised for her hard work in the community.