2018 Civic awards citations.

Dr Maan Mustafa Alkaisi

Dr Maan Mustafa AlkaisiWhen disaster strikes it is all too easy, and all too common, for the voices of the victims and of the bereaved to be lost amid the general tumult and affright. For the sake of his beloved wife, who was lost in the ruin of the CTV building, he could not allow that to happen.

Accordingly, he founded the Quake Families Group to ensure that the many little voices that individually could easily be drowned out were combined into one powerful one that could not be ignored.

He arranged for a lawyer representing the Group to attend meetings of the subsequent Royal Commission of Inquiry to ensure that the voice of the Group was heard. He worked with the Red Cross to help support the members of the Group, and with the Christchurch City Council to make sure that the CTV site was landscaped and beautified.

He works with the Council to campaign for better and safer building standards to ensure that the lessons learnt from the collapse of the CTV building are never forgotten.

Perhaps most importantly, in forming the Quake Families Group he has woven together, on the loom of shared tragedy, a large number of otherwise disparate strands into a company of lifelong friends. 

Ken Clearwater

Ken ClearwaterHe became the full-time manager of the Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse Trust in Christchurch in 2001, but his involvement in the care of survivors goes back much further, and his title does not nearly describe the range and depth of his commitment.

He has worked tirelessly for thirty years with Male Survivors, not only throughout New Zealand but all around the world.

From Auckland to Otago, from Nelson to the Waikato, he has given unstintingly of his deep knowledge of sexual abuse and of the management of programmes to help those who have suffered from this pernicious evil. From the United States to Cambodia, from Norway to Uganda, he has advocated on behalf of Male Survivors, and for the networks that heal and support them.

Most importantly, he has helped to tear away the veils of silence that once kept this social shame from view, to reveal its hideous extent, and to allow men to leave the isolation and shame that was inflicted upon them.

He has built a community of men who share this common history, and encourages all who join it to bring healing to others. A humble, open and easy-going man, he has been a warrior for and a true friend to all Survivors.

Pat Duggan and Paul O’Connor

Pat Duggan and Paul O’ConnorIf ever a date can be put upon the awakening of a national self-awareness, for New Zealand that date has to be April 25th. For one hundred and two years dedicated men and women have gathered to remember those who left New Zealand’s shores never to return.

For one hundred and two years, dedicated men and women have laboured long and hard to make this day a special one, and the planning and preparation for the annual Christchurch Anzac Day parade and service is complex, commencing many months before the event itself.

It requires co-ordination with the local government, all arms of the NZ Defence Force, the NZ Police Force, the emergency services, diplomatic and consular corps, central government, veterans’ associations, community and religious leaders and community groups.

As Chief Parade Marshal and as Master of Ceremonies respectively, they have been deeply involved in every aspect of the planning, preparation and execution of the event, representing a significant but gladly given sacrifice of time each year. Their contribution has been instrumental in ensuring that the annual commemoration, the largest in the South Island, runs smoothly, and with the dignity and respect that such a significant public event deserves.

Coleen Dunlop

Coleen DunlopShe has been an indefatigable volunteer worker for decades, with particular emphasis on the most essential area of refreshments.

She has done the catering for Age Concern Information Courses for fifteen years, and for the monthly High Teas for people living on their own. She did all the High Tea catering for the Summer of Fun events for five years, a major operation considering that around a hundred people would attend each event.

She provides the refreshments for the activity groups that are run by the Wainoni-Avonside Community Services Trust on a weekly basis, which can involve up to sixty people, and to which folk come from all over Christchurch. She will frequently bring some of her own delicious home baked goodies to these occasions, a contribution that is most greatly appreciated.

But her gift to the community is much more than the provision of provender. She is deeply aware of the pain that is felt by those whom age or infirmity has forced into isolation within their own houses, and at the age of eighty-nine continues to visit the elderly and the lonely in their homes in the spirit of one who represents the highest ideals of volunteerism and social service.

Ruth Gardner

Ruth GardnerShe was manager of Volunteering Canterbury [VolCan] for over twenty years, and in that time ensured that the organisation became an integral part of the community support and social services systems in the city.

When the earthquakes rocked Christchurch in 2010-2011 she played a major role in the management and co-ordination of volunteer services across the city.

Despite VolCan losing its offices and all its resources, she kept the services offered by the agency operating first from her home within the cordon, and later from a series of temporary premises until the Community House was re-established. She rebuilt the resources that VolCan provides to its member organisations, and was instrumental in ensuring the agency’s survival and subsequent growth while ensuring that it maintained its pivotal role in the facilitation and support of volunteering in the city.

Despite the constraints placed upon those who lived in the central city and who continued to live there during the period of the cordon, and an almost total lack of resources, she managed to keep the flag of volunteering flying high during one of the darkest and most traumatic periods in the history of Christchurch.

Jillian Meryl Lord

Jillian Meryl LordShe has been a Friend of the Court Theatre for over twenty years, and has served on the committee of St. Mary’s Church in Merivale.

She has held the chair of the Association of Anglican Women and, with her husband Trevor, started the Canterbury Vintage Home Restorers’ Group, of which they are both still active members.

Her greatest fame, however, is her lifetime of outstanding service to the Family History Society of New Zealand. During her forty years of membership she has held all positions of responsibility within the society, acting as President, Secretary, Treasurer, Researcher and, perhaps most importantly, as Librarian.

With an encyclopaedic knowledge of the history of Christchurch, and as a highly skilled researcher, she gives freely of her expertise to all comers, providing invaluable assistance for their genealogy projects and family history research. The society is particularly indebted to her generosity in allowing the society to use her home as a research centre, and she spends many hours each week working on the society’s projects, keeping the books, maintaining the library, purchasing new resources and helping with enquiries from the public.

In helping people to better understand their ancestry she is helping them to better understand themselves, and there can be few gifts greater than that.

Maurice White Native Forest Trust

Maurice White Native Forest TrustFor more than seven hundred years the once dense tree canopy of Banks Peninsula was stripped away, first by early Polynesian fires, then by logging and the development of agricultural and pastoral farmland, until no more than one per cent of the ancient forest remained.

In 1987, thanks to the generosity of Maurice White, a trust was formed to create what is in effect a mini national park, privately owned but freely open to the public on foot. Its purpose is two-fold;

  • to foster the natural regeneration of native vegetation and wildlife,
  • and to allow the people of Canterbury to enjoy the reserve through the provision and maintenance of an extensive network of walking tracks.

For thirty years the Trust has actively worked to conserve and restore regenerating native bush for the long-term benefit of the environment.

Today, a steady stream of local schoolchildren are welcomed to learn about New Zealand’s unique faunal and floral heritage, and students from Lincoln and Canterbury Universities come for study and research. Visitors, local, national and international, walk the tracks, while researchers and scientists from around the world arrive to marvel and to study.

This is a mighty gift, not only to the people of Canterbury and New Zealand, but to their children, and their children’s children, and for generations beyond.

Pauline Mohi

Pauline MohiShe has worked with the Better Breathing [Pulmonary Rehabilitation] Consumer Group of the Canterbury Clinical Network to improve care for people with lung conditions for a number of years. During that time, and to a very large extent due to her efforts, the approach to community care for people with lung conditions has altered markedly for the better.

For five years she has been spreading the word about Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease [COPD], advocating for better health services, lobbying for lower health fees, encouraging people to take more responsibility for their own health, and raising awareness of the social repercussions of COPD within the medical community.

She has actively participated in respiratory and pulmonary rehabilitation governance groups, bringing a crucial consumer perspective to the table, and has contributed invaluable insights to other groups, such as the Canterbury Pharmacy Service Review, who are involved in health service design.

The Coffee and Exercise Groups that she instituted are very popular and growing in number. As a result of her crusade not only are there are fewer hospital visits for those with respiratory disorders, saving many thousands of health budget dollars and freeing up more beds, but the people themselves are healthier and more active.

Katherine Peet

Katherine PeetFor forty years she has been a tireless advocate for social justice, bringing to bear her very considerable educational, analytical and administrative skills to a wide range of agencies in the non-governmental organisation, not-for-profit and voluntary sectors.

She has been a member of the Canterbury Workers’ Educational Association since 1977, and has served as Canterbury President, National President, and Special Representative at UNESCO conferences. She is the driving force behind the organisation in matters of both governance and day-to-day administration.

She is an organiser and workshop leader with Network Waitangi Otautahi, and is Tangata Tiriti co-chair of One Voice Te Reo Kotahi. She has been an active member of Adult and Community Education Aotearoa since 1977, and of the Council of Social Services [now the Social Equity and Well-being Network].

She has spearheaded many more causes and groups as diverse as the Women Against Violence Centre, the Christmas Without Commercials Campaign and the Addington Railway Workshops Male Voice Choir.

She has committed over four decades to the enrichment of the lives of the citizens of Christchurch through the provision of a wide range of educational opportunities and experiences. Hers has been a life spent fighting for social justice, empowerment of the powerless, and positive social change.

Stephen Leslie Phillips

Stephen Leslie PhillipsHe has been a diligent volunteer for different organisations for more than thirty years, providing vital assistance to many community groups by providing a professional standard of governance and the auditing of accounts. 

He has been a board member of Age Concern Canterbury since 2014 and a Trustee of Age Concern Canterbury Trust since 2016. He has been an Independent Trustee of Otautahi Community Housing Trust, an agency that manages a housing portfolio of over 2400 units, since 2016.

Other involvements include Deputy Chair of the Canterbury District Health Board Consumer Council, Member of the Canterbury District Health Board Clinical Board, Trustee of the Canterbury Health Care for the Elderly Education Trust and three years as Facilitator and Panel Member on the Christchurch Community Justice Panels [now known as Iwi Panels].

A Justice of the Peace since 1996, he has been an active worker within the Canterbury Justices of the Peace Association for many years, as Councillor, Vice President, President and Past President.

A consummate professional, he has at all times endeavoured to instil his own high standards of professionalism and organisational governance into the agencies that he has served that they in turn may better serve their communities.

Robert (Bob) Arthur Shearing

Robert (Bob) Arthur ShearingTo say that he has been a dedicated worker for the Riccarton-Wigram area for many years is an understatement, for his contributions to the community have spread right across the City of Christchurch.

His involvements over the last two decades and more have been legion: City Councillor and Community Board Member for fourteen years, and a key governance member of numerous boards across the City.

He is a Board Member of The RNZAF Museum Trust Board and of the Christchurch Racecourse Trust Board, and a Trustee of the Templeton Welfare Council, the Riccarton Bush Trust and the Paparua RSA Poppy Trust. He is Chairman of the Enrich Community Chaplaincy Trust, the Hei Hei Broomfield Community Project Trust and the Rose Historic Chapel Trust.

He is an astute and hardworking committee member, and a man of seemingly unlimited and infectious optimism. He seems to be here, there, and everywhere, now advocating for a cause before a submissions committee, tomorrow helping out with the local ANZAC day parade, then organising youth volunteers at the local Hello Hornby event.

He is widely known and admired not simply as an inspiration to all, but as a great bloke who gets involved and pitches in wherever and whenever he can.


Past recipients

2017

Kendra Burgess-Naude

Kendra Burgess-Naude receiving her award

As always, the recent 2017 general election campaign gave rise to a chorus of comments on the lack of political interest amongst younger people, a malaise diagnosed as arising in large part from a feeling in many individuals that their vote cannot make a difference. Even as a pupil at secondary school she was passionately engaged in projects to raise political awareness amongst her classmates, talking to them individually and in groups, explaining the importance of the democratic process and encouraging those who were turning eighteen to enrol.

Now a full-time University student, she continues her crusade as co-chair of the Christchurch Youth Council, supporting and mentoring others, empowering them to engage with local and central government processes, to engage with decision-making, and to realise that they can shape the City and country in which they live.

Through her work with the Youth Community Voices project she encourages young people to form groups within their Wards, and to work with Community Boards and with the City Council to ensure that young people are represented, and their voices are heard. Her outreach encourages her peers to engage in active citizenship that they may lead more fulfilled lives.


The Canterbury Children’s Theatre

a representative of the Children's Theatre Company receiving the award

For sixty years the Company has brought pleasure, entertainment, and excitement to the children of Canterbury, and, indeed, to many adults. Times have changed, but the Company has changed with the times.

The days when bus-loads of children would arrive from Timaru or Hanmer Springs to packed houses at the Repertory Theatre are long gone, the victims of television and a whole constellation of electronic gadgetry, but the magic continues at the Malthouse Theatre in Beckenham. Indeed, their involvement with children goes beyond their primary concern, the presentation of plays and shows for the entertainment of youngsters.

In association with the Malthouse Theatre Trust they introduce children to the subtle arts of theatre and stage work, providing an environment where aspiring young actors and actresses can enter the craft at an elementary level and gradually progress through to more adult techniques and themes. Most importantly, the Company provides the wherewithal to hone young imaginations, and sows the seeds of dreams that can last a lifetime. That children who were involved in the early years, now grandparents, still attend performances with their grandchildren should prove beyond any doubt that magic still exists in Canterbury.


City Harvest Food Rescue

representatives of the city harvest food rescue team receiving their award

New Zealand is a fertile land, rich in food. So rich is it that New Zealanders can afford to throw away up to one hundred and twenty thousand tonnes of food each year. Paradoxically, and to our shame, more than a quarter of a million New Zealand children go to school each day without breakfast, or to bed without dinner.

They saw this burning need with great clarity, and set up an organisation to rescue quality surplus food from the supply chain and redistribute it to people in need, ensuring that hundreds of needy Cantabrians have access to quality meals and at the same time helping to reduce waste. In collaboration with twenty-four charitable agencies such as the City Mission, St Vincent de Paul, Women’s Refuges, the Pasifika Fellowship, and many others, the team of volunteers runs a six-days-a-week operation to provide food resources to front-line groups.

Their success speaks for itself: although founded only in February of this year, after only five months of full operation nearly twenty-three tonnes of food had been rescued and redistributed, providing nearly sixty-five thousand meals and reducing landfill disposal by some eighteen tonnes. Words cannot adequately express the enormity of their achievement.


Friends of the Akaroa Museum

representatives of the friends of the Akaroa museum receiving their award

The unique character of a place is a quality that is built upon its many-layered history. But the past is a fragile creature, easily mutilated, quickly forgotten, were it not for the dedicated work of a few far-sighted individuals who can see beyond the exigencies of today into the needs of tomorrow. Such a group came together on the 21st of June, 1965, to support the Akaroa Museum by providing financial assistance, and voluntary help in building up the collections.

Fifty-two years later they are still at it, fundraising, catering, cleaning, training volunteers, and performing the multitude of tasks that need to be done to keep the museum open, interesting, and relevant. They are on hand to receive the thousands who walk through the museum’s doors every year, to assist the school groups that regularly visit, or to advise those who come to research family histories.

They preserve and bind copies of the Akaroa Mail, an invaluable archive of local history, and maintain the Oral History Project, an undertaking that ensures that the experiences, wisdom and lore of local residents are forever a part of Canterbury’s legacy. They are our collective memory, preserving for tomorrow that which made Canterbury what it is today.


Derek Errington McCullough

Derek McCullough receiving his award

He has been a member of the Mt. Pleasant Community Centre and Residents’ Association Incorporated for twenty years, serving on the fundraising committee since 2011, and as President of the Association since 2014.

During this, the most traumatic period in its history, he has worked assiduously to ensure that a continuous programme of community engagement and activity has been maintained, and he has been central to the development and restoration of the Community Centre. Over the past six years he has given hundreds of hours to the effort to get the Centre back up and running, drawing on his vast experience of events management over the past three decades.

Thanks in large part to his gift of time, his efforts, and his devotion, the Mt. Pleasant Community in particular, and the City of Christchurch in general, have a fine new venue to house a wide range of classes, meetings, seminars, celebrations and social gatherings. Thanks to him, the Community and the City have before them an exemplar of what may be achieved, even in the most extreme of situations, with perspicacity, persistence, and perseverance.


Bruce McEachen

Bruce McEachen receiving his award

When the dust of the 2011 earthquakes was beginning to settle, there came a call to build a memorial to those who had lost their lives in the disaster. Thus the Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial Project was called into being, and to its team of professionals there was added one more, the only unpaid member, a representative of those directly affected.

He became a key member of a number of groups who oversaw the selection of the design and the construction of the memorial, and the events around its opening.

Temporarily putting aside his own grief at the loss of his son, Matthew, he worked alongside his colleagues to assess and select design submissions, following developments to ensure that the original intent of the memorial was maintained, and was deeply involved in the ceremonies and public events at the opening. He gave many hundred of hours of his time over the nearly three years of the project’s duration, all the while maintaining full time paid employment outside the project.

A tower of strength, humour and humanity, he has given more to the City than any parent should have to give and there is no doubt that the memorial would not be what it is, but for his efforts.


Leith Ellen McMurray

Leith Ellen McMurray receiving here award

There are around 4,000 people in Christchurch who are affected by it, yet for many years, and still, to a large extent, today, Asperger’s Syndrome was and is poorly understood by many professionals in the education, disability and medical services.

Diagnosed later in life as being within the autism spectrum, into the milder end of which Asperger’s Syndrome fits, she knew first hand both the difficulties of those who suffer from this often debilitating disorder, and of the lack the help that they needed. She was immediately aware that someone would have to do something, and that that someone was her.

The result was Aspiehelp, The Aspire Trust, a peer support, social work and advocacy service for people affected by Asperger’s Syndrome. For six years she and a small team of dedicated colleagues have built up and refined their group into an effective and highly valued service that provides pre- and post-diagnostic consultations, and a social-work service of counselling, advocacy and referrals to specialist agencies. As well as this most welcome practical assistance, under her visionary leadership the group promotes understanding of the condition that in turn alleviates anxiety and depression and helps those affected by the Asperger’s Syndrome, to develop into happy and productive members of society.


One Mother To Another Charitable Trust

a representative of the trust receiving the award

Mothers and carers of children who enter Christchurch Hospital’s Children’s Acute Assessment Unit, and mothers who have babies admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, undergo an experience that is at best stressful, and may also be deeply frightening.

Doctors and nurses sometimes have to perform procedures that upset not only the children but the parents as well, as the little life so often hangs in the balance. As a consequence of a terrifying experience of her own, Christina conceived the idea of providing others in a similar position with a little morale boost.

Together with her friend Joy, with the occasional help from others and the support of the local business community, they put together a number of gift packs to be given out to suitable recipients. Each pack is filled with items, some practical, some indulgent, and includes a hand-written note to let the recipient know that she is not alone. From small beginnings, the group are now able to supply fifty packs per month, which are distributed by nursing staff. Their aim is to put a smile on the face of every mother or carer, to let them know that someone cares about what they are going through, and hopefully brighten their day.


Parafed Canterbury

a representative from Parafed receiving the award

For fifty years it has provided sporting and recreation opportunities for Cantabrians with physical disabilities, and leads the country in the services that are offered to the community. It has materially advanced the rich sporting history of both Canterbury and of New Zealand as a whole, making a significant difference to the lives of many people. It has created pathways for thousands of the physically disabled to reach sporting goals, creating leaders, role models and inspirational stories that continue to echo down the generations.

It offers a vast range of programmes that cover the full spectrum of organised sports from para-athletics, to para-cycling, to wheelchair rugby, as well as ancillary programmes such as an academy course for developing and supporting elite athletes and coaches, and educational presentations to business and tertiary education organisations.

Although catering for all age-groups, it places heavy emphasis on young people, and the work done with this demographic has seen increases in participation levels in school sports as well as building a self-confidence in young people that extends beyond sports to all areas of life. By ensuring that the disabled have the same opportunities as the able-bodied it has substantially enriched the fabric of the lives of all Cantabrians.


Bishnu Pokhrel

Bishnu Pokhrel receiving his award

The transition from one society to another is always fraught with difficulties. An unfamiliar language, cultural norms that can vary widely from those of the ‘old’ society, strange foods, different ways of doing almost everything, can impose enormous stress on the new immigrant.

Equally difficult is the lot of the children of migrants who face the prospect of being ‘lost’ within the new society, losing their own language, their own culture, their own ancient traditions, but not yet fully integrated into the new culture. A champion community worker, he has spent the last ten years working for people of Nepalese and Bhutanese backgrounds to settle into and acclimatise themselves to Canterbury’s culture.

He has worked extensively to bring this community together and to protect their unique culture and traditions. He is a mentor, the go-to person for any in the Nepalese or Bhutanese community who need help or advice. He has earned huge respect through working with different government agencies and service providers, and has co-ordinated dozens of events showcasing Nepalese and Bhutanese culture, tradition, and cuisine, to the wider Canterbury community. His door is always open to anyone seeking help.


Anthony John Tizzard

Anthony Tizzard receiving his award

A large number of charitable bodies sprang to the aid of those left in need in the wake of the Canterbury earthquakes. A leader amongst these groups was the Christchurch Earthquake [Rotary] Charitable Trust. On its formation he was invited to share his skills and experience as Secretary/Treasurer and Trust Member, and it is impossible to quantify the number of hours he has spent on the unromantic but vital tasks of collating applications, preparing responses, checking Trust requirements, confirming finances and attending to all pertinent correspondence.

His good offices have been central to the effective management and operation of the Trust, as a result of which millions of dollars in funding have been distributed throughout Canterbury. The beneficiaries of this great labour are too many to itemise, but they number in the hundreds and include a wide range of local community groups such as schools, youth organisations, people with disabilities, the elderly, early childhood organisations, and community facilities.

Although many groups and individuals have also been involved over the years, it is with gratitude that the community recognises that his time, dedication and skills, given without hesitation or reward, have been pivotal to the success of the Trust.


Roy Sinclair

Roy Sinclair receiving his award

For years he laboured to have a Peace Bell brought to New Zealand and installed in Christchurch. To this end he founded the New Zealand Chapter of the World Peace Bell Association. He travelled to Japan on several occasions at his own expense, appearing on television and in newspapers, visiting war memorials and attending civic events. In 2004 he and his partner undertook an epic 3200k bicycle ride from one end of Japan to the other, all in the name of the promotion of the World Peace Bell Movement.

His untiring efforts, as well as countless hours of fundraising by members of the Chapter, saw this dream finally realised on 3 October 2006, when the Christchurch Peace Bell was formally unveiled in its pavilion in the Christchurch Botanic Gardens.

His gift is all the more poignant today as, even as these awards are taking place, chest-beating militarists armed with weapons of horrendous power threaten to topple the world into nuclear apocalypse. Thanks to his gift, however, Christchurch has at its heart a haven where a mighty symbol of tolerance, regeneration and international harmony lies amid flowers, shrubs, ponds and trees.

2016

304th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron United States Air Force

Photo of the 304th Expeditionary Airlift squadron representatives

Their primary mission is the provision of logistical support to the United States’ National Science Foundation facility at McMurdo Base as part of Operation Deep Freeze. In tandem with this they have provided support for numerous Christchurch charities, drawing largely on the widespread interest in the giant C17 Globemaster aircraft, and the ongoing local fascination with all things to do with The Ice.

The Globemasters have been flying in and out of Christchurch since 1999 and during that time the Airmen who fly them have raised many thousands of dollars for local, largely children’s, charities.

They run a small shop, from which they sell United States Air Force and particularly C17 themed items such as t-shirts, coins, posters, hats and stickers, and have undertaken many fundraising events in which tours of the cavernous Globemaster aircraft have loomed large. The Cancer Ward at Christchurch Hospital and Kids Can (Canterbury) have both benefited from this plethora of generosity, as well as the NZ Red Cross, Kidney Kids of New Zealand, Cookie Time Charitable Trust, the Christchurch City Mission, the St. John Ambulance, and the Cholmondley Children’s Home. They have been most generous benefactors of Christchurch and Canterbury, as well as worthy and welcome ambassadors for their Service and their Country.


Akaroa Lighthouse Preservation Society

Photo of the Akaroa lighthouse preservation society members

Heritage buildings, those that tell the tale of the journey of a community across the years and the generations, are few and fragile, ever vulnerable to the vagaries of nature, the depredations of political agendas, and the prospect of the ‘quick buck’.

It takes a sturdy and determined group to protect these delicate and endangered creatures from destruction and exploitation, and diligence and perseverance to maintain them over time. Such a group formed around the Akaroa Lighthouse in 1979, undertaking not only to save it from almost certain destruction but to move it complete with all its esoteric equipment from its original home on the desolate harbour heads to its present location close to Akaroa village.

For almost four decades this hardy band of local enthusiasts has worked to ensure that this, the last fully operational 19th Century lighthouse in the South Island, is kept in working order for the delight and edification of future generations. They have given many thousands of hours of work, and raised many thousands of dollars to that end. The Lighthouse, unique in Canterbury, is now a key feature of the village scenery, enjoyed by tens of thousands of schoolchildren, tourists and visitors every year. At a purchase price of $1, it must surely rank as the best bargain that the heritage movement in Canterbury has ever made.


The Christchurch Community Response Volunteers

Photo of the Christchurch community response volnteers

The earthquakes of September 2010 and the subsequent months and years served to highlight many weaknesses in the fabric of society, one of which is that many people live alone.

The highly mobile and fragmentary nature of modern civilization means that large and increasing numbers of households consist of one person, and when disaster comes this can have tragic consequences. Several groups of people, largely in the east of the city, recognised this problem very early in the piece and in March of 2011 formed a collaboration to undertake a door-knocking exercise to check on people's well-being.

Although initially established as a result of the earthquakes, its role has evolved over time to include the whole metropolitan area, not just those parts where significant damage occurred.

To date they have visited over 70,000 homes and have provided assistance to more than 4,000 people, mainly the elderly and otherwise vulnerable, directing them to various helping agencies and community groups, alerting community workers to problem areas, and even doing little handyman-type jobs such as freeing up stuck doors or straightening up clotheslines. They are giving back that which too many have lost – a place in the community.


David Leonard Ching

Photo of David Ching

On being approached in 1996 to set up a Conductive Education facility at Addington School, he embarked upon a course that would become a passion. Over the ensuing years he became ever more deeply involved in the provision of holistic education for children with motor disabilities, a curriculum that involves the specialised teaching of skills that most people take for granted.

He served as a member of the NZ Foundation for Conductive Education, later becoming Chairperson. As such he was instrumental in promoting the practice of Conductive Education throughout New Zealand, raising official and sponsorship awareness not only of Conductive Education but of all special needs teaching.

On retiring as Principal of Addington School in 2005 he worked for the Foundation, becoming National Co-ordinator. A lifelong rugby union enthusiast he has for nearly three and a half decades been associated in a number of capacities with the Canterbury Rugby Union: Committee Member and Archivist, Canterbury Primary Schools' Association Deputy Chairman, Chairman, Selector and Manager. His involvements and achievements in and on behalf of so many fields, be it education, or rugby union, or primary school sports, are too many to enumerate. Dedicated, conscientious, selfless, he has established a benchmark for service to his community that is extremely hard to surpass.


Professor Hong Hu

Photo of Professor Hong Hu

The last few years have seen an exponential increase in contacts between New Zealand and China. Trade and tourism have grown enormously and can only continue to grow. It is essential, therefore, that mutual understanding between the two should also continue to grow, and she has played a key role in that facilitation since she arrived in Christchurch in 2010.

Through her work with the Confucius Institute, she has been instrumental in the nearly ten-fold increase in the number of local High Schools that teach Mandarin. She has organised workshops and seminars on Chinese culture, and events such as the NZ Chinese Film Festival.

At all times she has acted above and beyond the call of duty. Although the first earthquakes occurred within months of her arrival to take up her position at the Confucius Institute, and although advised by the Chinese authorities to leave the city, nevertheless she refused and stayed to play an invaluable part in the recovery activities of the University of Canterbury, as well as helping the Chinese Embassy to care for local Chinese victims. Throughout her stay in Christchurch she has exemplified the virtues of generosity, diligence, sincerity and loyalty such as would make the Great Sage himself proud.


Independent Fisheries

Photo of the Independent Fisheries representatives

A commercial enterprise is more than simply an engine to create products for sale. A commercial enterprise is an entire piece of the complex jigsaw of society, and its activities have ramifications and influences far beyond its immediate mercantile function. Since 2005 this enterprise, at considerable expense in time and money, has been supporting and funding an exchange programme for students with disabilities between Christchurch and Kurashiki in Japan on alternate years.

In one year two students, one with a physical disability and one with an intellectual disability, together with their caregivers and a team leader from Kurashiki visit Christchurch. In the following year, a similar group from Christchurch will visit Kurashiki.

The programme enables young people who would otherwise never know such a thing to experience first hand the people and culture of another country, and to learn what their overseas counterparts are doing to improve the lives of their own people with disabilities. They come home full of new ideas and new enthusiasm, having gained understandings far beyond their previous horizons, and are thus infinitely better equipped to participate in the decision-making processes of their respective societies. The programme is an outstanding example of good corporate citizenship, and a fine challenge for all to emulate.


Ira Mitchell-Kirk

Photo of Ira Mitchell-Kirk

Most artists seek support from their communities. An established artist and teacher of art, she has turned that equation around, using her art to support her community. Over the years she has given works of art and countless hours of her time to the benefit of numerous charities in the Greater Christchurch area and the Canterbury region.

Her paintings, bright, colourful and impressionistic, are in popular demand, and proceeds from their sale go regularly to boost deserving coffers. For AVIVA family violence services in Linwood she designed and painted a delightful jungle mural for the children’s room.

Donated artworks sold at auction have raised funds for the St. Andrew’s rowing and hockey teams, Christchurch Home and Families, and Ohoka School. One painting sold at auction raised enough money to fund almost two Mondiale LifePod Incubators that could over their lifetime could save the lives of up to a thousand babies. She raised $50,000 for local services through the sale of her five giraffes in 2015, and auctions of other works have benefitted the Transplant Games organisation, Cashmere High School, Ronald McDonald House, Beckenham School, the Christchurch Charity Hospital and others too numerous and varied to enumerate. Her generosity is matched only by the beauty of her creations.


Josiah Tavita Tualamali’i

Photo of Josiah Tavita Tualamali'i

For many young people, becoming involved in public affairs and the democratic process is seen as complex and daunting. This is true for all, and even more so for those who come from those minority cultures whose ways of life may be very different from those of mainstream New Zealand. From the age of fourteen he has immersed himself in community and youth groups, speaking the language of young people in a way that young people understand.

As a student of law at the University of Canterbury he been able to augment his natural affinities and abilities with the knowledge, skills and critical thinking that legal training brings to the student. He is Chairperson of the Pacific Youth Leadership and Transformation Council Charitable Trust, a Pasifika Youth Guide, a member of the Student Well-being Advisory Group at the University of Canterbury, Student Representative on the University of Canterbury Pacific Strategy Board, Youth Representative on the Pegasus Health Pacific Youth Reference Group, Community Representative on the Christchurch City Council Multicultural Strategy Working Group, and other positions too numerous to list.

He is a community leader, a youth leader, an activist, an educator, an enabler, an advisor, and a communicator. Above all, he is the future.