Despite this year being a difficult one for those on the frontline, due to the impact of COVID-19, over 40 entries were received in three categories for this year’s Mayoral Conservation Awards.
The awards celebrate the work of conservationists dedicated to safeguarding the region’s natural environment.
“I knew there was a lot of fantastic work being done in our communities, but I didn’t realise it was as widespread and significant as these finalists suggest.
"Knowing now how much is being done to protect and restore our environment makes me feel the job isn’t as big as I thought it was and each of us are not doing it alone. Congratulations to all the nominees, our birds and waterways thank you,” says Councillor Richard Hills, Chair Environment and Climate Change Committee and a judge of the awards.
In announcing the shortlist, he adds, “we are immensely grateful for the work the community groups do. As the future of the natural world is brought into even sharper focus it is important the recipients of our awards continue their vital work.”
Lotu Fuli, Otara-Papatoetoe Local Board Chair and a judge commented it was very pleasing to see some great initiatives and diversity of ideas and groups getting involved.
“I was particularly impressed with the youth really getting engaged and exploring sustainable practices, including activities that reflect and embrace Te Ao Maori.”
The shortlist of finalists for 2020 is:
- Waiheke Collective
- Te Ara Awataha and Jessie Tonar Scout Reserve regeneration
- Pakuranga Pest Free
- Awhitu Landcare Community Conservation
- Restoring Takuranga-Hauraki
- Aotearoa Lakes
Schools & Youth:
Triumph Against Adversity:
- Te Henga/Bethells Dotterel Minders
- Totara Heights Bush Guardians
- Ecofest North 2020
- Friends of Lot 29
The judges of the awards were Glenn Wilcox - IMSB member, Councillor Richard Hills, Lotu Fuli, Ōtara-Papatoetoe Local Board Chair and Toni Giacon, Department of Conservation Auckland.
The annual award ceremony is on Saturday 28 November at the Hyundai Marine Sports Centre in Ōrākei. It’s the first day of a two-day Auckland Conservation weekend that continues Sunday 29 November at the University of Auckland’s School of Environment Science Centre.