A member of the Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Order has been named Howick Local Board’s Citizen of the Year.
Abbess Manshin has been serving people around the world for more than 30 years.
Based in New Zealand for about 16 years, Abbess Manshin has helped design and build multicultural community centres in Christchurch and in Flat Bush, both featuring world-class art galleries and vegetarian cafes.
Every year, Abbess Manshin also helps organise events aimed at bringing happiness, joy and hope to the local community.
Local board chair David Collings says the award, made as part of the board’s Celebrated Citizens event, is fitting recognition of the high regard the Buddhist community is held in and the contribution it has made to the cultural life of the area.
Rising stars recognised for environmental activities
Ethan McCormick was named Rising Star. He is actively involved in service, leadership and community roles, and as a keen environmentalist has taken a leading role in the area’s Pest Free movement.
Board environmental spokesman John Spiller says Ethan also plays a vital role in inspiring students to take a stand to improve their environment.
The Kauri Environmental award went to Matthew Brajkovich, who has played a leading role in ecological efforts throughout the district, especially at the Cockle Bay Domain, where his tireless efforts led to a restoration programme that continues today.
Howick’s St John Shop received the Exceptional Service award following several nominations from the public.
Youth leaders share honours
The Youth Development award was shared by Hamish Arthur and Zachary Wong, the Golden Heart volunteer award went to Janice White, and the Exceptional Artist award to Peter Hall, whose work often reflects the beauty found around the Howick and Whitford areas.
Mr Collings says the awards are a highlight of the board’s calendar but judging them is always difficult, with many fine local people nominated. "The board members who act as judges owe a vote of thanks to the Reverend Dr Richard Waugh for his wise counsel.
"These awards are open to anyone who plays a special role in the life of the community, and the large number of nominations we receive illustrates how lucky we are to have so many community-minded people willing to give their time to make the place they call home better.
“This year we have had people doing amazing tasks in our district in a wide variety of areas, and the number engaged in some fine work to improve the environment is particularly encouraging.”