The Bay’s local heroes recognised

The Bay of Plenty's local heroes have been recognised at the Kiwibank Local Hero Awards. Supplied photo.

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The Bay of Plenty’s selfless, optimistic and generous citizens were honoured for their service last night at the annual Kiwibank Local Hero Awards.

As part of the Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year Awards 2018, 21 Bay of Plenty locals received their Local Hero medals at a special ceremony at Classic Flyers Museum in Tauranga.

Mayor Greg Brownless, attended the ceremony to congratulate and present the medals to this year’s winners. He commended the recipients for their achievements in the community, saying that the award ceremony is a fantastic and vital opportunity to acknowledge the efforts of many in the region.

“This year’s recipients are selfless, loving and dedicated people who have all impacted our community in unique ways.”

“The positive difference they have made to the lives of others cannot be overstated.  It’s important we as a community take time to reflect and acknowledge the special place these people hold in our lives.”

The 2018 Kiwibank Local Heroes for the Bay of Plenty were:

  •   •  Peter Burling (Tauranga)

  •   •  Bob Mankelow (Tauranga)

  •   •  Denny Spee (Tauranga)

  •   •  Steve Campbell (Tauranga)

  •   •  Percy Jones (Tauranga)

  •   •  Marty Hoffart (Tauranga)

  •   •  Kathleen Young (Opotiki)

  •   •  Joseph Ngametuangaro (Opotiki)

  •   •  Dianna Te Riini (Edgecumbe)

  •   •  Matthew Bryson (Edgecumbe)

  •   •  Leslie David Jones (Whakatane)

  •   •  Tautini Hahipene Whakatane)

  •   •  Dale Walker (Whakatane)

  •   •  Ian Feasey (Whangamata)

  •   •  Wini Hahipene-Geddes (Thornton)

  •   •  Shaun Smith (Papamoa)

  •   •  Diane Norris (Thames)

  •   •  Leona Smith (Mt Maunganui)

  •   •  Donal Boyle (Omanu)

  •   •  Berice Julian (Kawerau)

  •   •  Cliff Osborne (Matua)

The Kiwibank Local Hero awards is New Zealand’s premier community award, celebrating and honouring those who have made a positive contribution to their region, town, suburb or community.

340 specially made Local Hero medals will be presented nationwide over the next few weeks with one national Local Heroes winner to be announced at the New Zealander of the Year Gala Awards in Auckland of February next year.

Mark Stephen, Kiwibank Acting CEO, said the bank’s nationwide network of staff were humbled and proud to be supporting communities to celebrate their “Local Heroes” over the past nine years.

“Many of these medal winners are unsung heroes, whose selflessness has had a profound effect on the lives of so many in the community.

“Those acts of charity, optimism and commitment are what make New Zealand such a special place to live in. We think it’s important for us to give thanks to these people and that’s why we sponsor the Local Hero Awards.”

The 2018 New Zealander of the Year Awards are to be presented in six award categories, with the overall winner of each category to be announced at the New Zealander of the Year Awards Gala on the February 22, 2018.

The 2018 New Zealander of the Year categories:

  •   •  The Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year

  •   •  The Metlifecare Senior New Zealander of the Year

  •   •  The University of Auckland Young New Zealander of the Year

  •   •  The Mitre 10 New Zealand Community of the Year

  •   •  The Sanitarium New Zealand Innovator of the Year

  •   •  The Kiwibank New Zealand Local Hero of the Year

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