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Neighbourhood Support New Zealand 2021 National Award Winners Announced


On Monday, June 28th at the James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor in Wellington, Neighbourhood Support New Zealand hosted their inaugural National Awards Night. The evening which took place during their 2-day conference GROW, set out to recognise the invaluable support and outcomes that our members, volunteers, and partners contribute to our communities. Around 10,000 people contribute annually to the work of Neighbourhood Support, mostly in a volunteer capacity. To help capture the diversity of that support, this year there were 5 special award categories: Partner of the Year, Police Partner of the Year, Project of the Year, Champion of the year as well as an overall winner.


Each District ran their own regional awards earlier in the year with the winner from each category being put forward for National judging.


Without further ado, this year’s National Award Winners are:


NSNZ Partner 2021 Award: Multicultural Nelson Tasman

• NSNZ Police Partner 2021 Award: James Calvert (Northland District)

• NSNZ Champion 2021 Award: Steven Price (Waitemata District)

• NSNZ Project 2021 Award: Scam Savvy (Southern District)

• Overall: Masterton Neighbourhood Support’s WeConnect project


For a full overview of our District Award Winners, National Semi-Finalists and National Award Winners continue reading on.


Thank you to local barbershop quartet, HeyDay, for sharing their soothing vocals with us.

NSNZ Partner 2021


This award was open to a partner, such as a business, school, government agency or other community organization, who has worked effectively with a NSNZ Member organisation.


The judges looked for a partnership that supported a key area of our work, demonstrated innovative thinking and benefited the community.


The District Award Winners were:


  • Ian Connon Taupo Emergency Management, Bay of Plenty District

  • Daryl Dean Menz Shed Palmerston North, Central District

  • Multicultural Nelson Tasman Tasman District

  • Katy Houston Multicultural Aoraki, Canterbury District

  • Bunnings Dunedin Southern District


The semi-finalists are:


Daryl Dean from the Menz Shed in Palmerston North


Daryl was mentioned to Alison, from Palmerston North Neighbourhood Support, when she was looking for a solution for putting up new street signs. He was recommended as a great guy who was very clever, and the added bonus was that he works with the local Menz Shed.


Daryl was enthusiastic about Menz Shed assembling the signs and organised everything, including adapting the original design, taking down old signs and putting up new one signs


Menz Shed and Palmerston North Neighbourhood Support have developed a positive relationship with their local Bunnings, who have donated the materials to hang the signs. Together they have so far put up 500 new signs in their community.


Alison says that the partnership has not only enable them to remove old signs and put up new ones, but it has generated good publicity as every replacement sign creates an opportunity for a conversation with neighbours. She is grateful to Daryl for his commitment, support and for being a wonderful person to work with.


Multicultural Nelson Tasman


Top of the South Neighbourhood Support and Multicultural Nelson Tasman have been growing a strong partnership over the past year. They have partnered together to deliver cross cultural awareness training to Neighbourhood Support’s volunteer street coordinators. The one day training sessions help ensure volunteers have the skills and understanding to connect with people from different cultures.


Working together on this ongoing project has helped the two organisations to identify other joint initiatives. This has included partnering together to make Top of the South’s annual Sand Sculpture Competition a welcoming event for migrant families and young people. They are also working together to deliver Neighbourhood Resilience training in different languages to migrants in the region.


This is a partnership that is having ongoing benefits for both organisations and contributing to making their community more inclusive.


Bunnings Dunedin


Bunnings Dunedin’s support and generosity has assisted Otago Neighbourhood Support (ONS) with a number of projects. They are a major sponsor of their Whānau Day, providing food for the BBQ so that people can participate at no cost. This helped make the event, which is in a community that has experienced high reports of crime and family harm, accessible for everyone.


They also came on board with the Buddy Bench Project for two local schools. They donated the benches which the students assembled at a fun, family day with free food and activities. The benches are there for students to use when they need someone to talk to.


The Bunnings team invite ONS into the store to display resources and speak to customers about the benefits of joining Neighbourhood Support. Sheryl, their Activities Coordinator, has given hours of her time to assist ONS and the staff also raised money at a function to donate to ONS.


The winner of the NSNZ Partner 2021 Award is Multicultural Nelson Tasman.


Due to the alert level change, representatives from Multicultural Nelson Tasman were unable to attend but will be presented their award in person by NSNZ staff at a later date.

NSNZ Police Partner 2021


It became clear when the judges were considering the nominations for the Partner Award that we needed a separate category for our Police Partners. The Police Partner 2021 Award recognises Police Officers who have gone above and beyond to assist Neighbourhood Support.


The semi-finalists are:


James Calvert, Northland District


James has been a major supporter of Neighbourhood Support in Whangarei, and the wider Northland District. His support of the Whangarei committee has helped them to regroup after a period of inactivity and he is considered an integral part of their team. He has worked alongside Whangarei Neighbourhood Support to hold community meetings in each suburb to promote Neighbourhood Support and encourage people to join.


James’ input helped to develop a growth strategy for Northland which has resulted in NSNZ employing a Community Advisor for the District. He has assisted with everything from the recruitment to helping get an office space set up.


Ryan Fleming, Waikato District


Ryan is a Community Constable working in Te Awamutu. He is a great advocate for Neighbourhood Support. The local coordinator, Mandy, often gets calls from residents who want to join Neighbourhood Support after speaking to Constable Fleming.


Together they have worked to establish groups in areas where residents have safety concerns. This often involves holding a neighbourhood meeting in weekends and Ryan always attends, even if he is off duty.


Ryan has taken the initiative to undertake prevention activities in high crime areas in an effort to deter drug and anti-social activity and foster relationships with the local communities. This has involved working closely with Neighbourhood Support and Community Patrols, and using the Mobile Police Station bus as a base to move around different locations in the community. The initiative has had positive outcomes and there are plans to repeat it. Mandy says she values Ryan’s local knowledge and advice and his proactive commitment to Neighbourhood Support.


Thomas Romans, Eastern District


Thomas has been nominated on behalf of the Eastern District Police. Their ongoing support of Neighbourhood Support in the region has supported our core values and helped to make the community safer and a better place to live. They have enthusiastically promoted Neighbourhood Support, attending community safety days, workshops and community BBQs.


Their commitment and perseverance is much appreciated by our local Neighbourhood Supporters.


The winner of the NSNZ Police Partner 2021 Award is James Calvert, Northland District.


NSNZ Police Partner 2021 Award Winner, James Calvert from Northland District.

NSNZ Champion 2021


The NSNZ Champion 2021 Award acknowledges an individual or group who has worked hard to promote and support the Neighbourhood Support message.


The District Award Winners are:


  • Jan Maunder Whangarei Area Neighbourhood Support, Northland District

  • Steven Price Waitakere Neighbourhood Support, Waitemata District

  • Joanne Bell CommSafe, Waikato District

  • Bruce Quedley Rotorua Neighbourhood Support, Bay of Plenty District

  • Maria Blance Napier Neighbourhood Support, Eastern District

  • Carol Curtis South Taranaki Neighbourhood Support, Central District

  • Sheila & Neil Williamson Connecting Communities Wairarapa, Wellington District

  • Anna Simpson Motueka Districts Neighbourhood Support, Tasman District

  • Graham Dellow South Canterbury Neighbourhood Support, Canterbury District

  • Paul Allen Otago Civil Defence Emergency Management, Southern District


The Semi-finalists are:


Steven Price


Steve is a member of Waitakere Neighbourhood Support, and is an Area Contact for Laingholm, a small community bordering the Waitakere Ranges. When the country went into lockdown in March 2020 Steve swung into action to ensure that his community were able to connect and support one another. He set up a Local Community Support Network to make it easier for residents, businesses, government agencies and other community organisations to link resources. Using a variety of networks, including social media, phone and letterbox drops, he and his team of volunteers were able to check in on people in need of assistance, and identified 20 households who could benefit from a food parcel.


The website he set up enabled people to communicate easily and supported the whole community through a difficult time.


Carol Curtis


When Carol retired from teaching in March 2019, our South Taranaki coordinator, Wendy, was quick to get her involved with Neighbourhood Support. Wendy had already spotted that Carol’s teaching background, the high regard with which she was held in the community and her creative flair would be an asset to any organisation.


Carol became involved as a volunteer, helping out at events, and was always happy to help with whatever was needed. She took on writing funding applications, with much success, and in September 2019 was voted on to the Executive Committee as secretary. Always calm in a crisis, Carol has helped get the organisation through some difficult situations and is a tireless promoter of Neighbourhood Support.


Wendy says that Carol is honest, humble and easy going with a strong work ethic. She describes her as the sort of person every community group dreams of having.


Sheila and Neil Williamson


The WeConnect programme run by Neighbourhood Support in Masterton aims to connect new migrants with their neighbours through a buddy programme. Sheila and Neil are Neighbourhood Support members and signed up to volunteer with WeConnect, which involves undertaking training and then being buddied up with a new migrant in their area.


They have worked tirelessly to support their buddy, making sure that her experience of living in Masterton is a positive one. Not only did they help their buddy find a place to live, but they helped supply her with most of the furniture and liaised with the landlord to make sure that the residence met legal requirements. They have assisted her to put together a CV and apply for jobs, and provided moral support through a number of situations. Our Masterton coordinator describes them as true neighbours.


The winner of the NSNZ Champion 2021 Award is Steven Price.


NSNZ Champion 2021 Award Winner Steven Price with NSNZ Board Member Claire Steer.

NSNZ Project 2021


The NSNZ Project 2021 Award is for a project run by a NSNZ Member Organisation which has achieved a positive outcome.


The District Award Winners were:


  • Baylys Beach Burglary Prevention Packs Baylys Beach, Northland District

  • Support to Victims of Crime Janet Paiti, Bay of Plenty District

  • Street Meet & Greet Barry Sutton, Eastern District

  • Community Fun Day Honda Hub & South Taranaki Neighbourhood Support, Central District

  • WeConnect Connecting Communities Wairarapa, Wellington District

  • Resilience Training Workshops Motueka Districts Neighbourhood Support, Tasman District

  • Rural Crime Prevention Project Canterbury Police, Canterbury District

  • Scam Savvy Project Otago Neighbourhood Support, Southern District

The semi-finalists are:


Resilience Training Workshops


The Motueka District has had its share of emergency situations and much of the area is cut off when a natural disaster occurs. In response to this Hilary Carson-Campbell from Motueka District Neighbourhood Support organised free Resilience Training workshops. The workshops involved all emergency services and a range of situations from rural fire through to scams and internet security. The aim was to prepare the community and help them think about how to support one another.


Over 100 people attended the first round of workshops in 2019, and a second round was then held in 2020. Hilary was concerned that Maori residents were not participating in the workshops so visited the local marae, and after several talks was invited to run a workshop in the marae. This has initiated an ongoing connection.


Feedback from the workshops was positive, with participants saying they were fun, informative and that they felt more confident about to do in an emergency.


Rural Crime Prevention Project


When local stations and farmers were experiencing an increase in illegal hunting, trespassing and stock theft, Constable Rory Chapman approached South Canterbury Neighbourhood Support to join forces in a project to prevent rural crime.


Meetings were held in communities in the Mackenzie area and Rory helped get the funding to purchase and put up rural crime prevention signage.


Scam Savvy


Scams and cybercrime frequently target older people, and this prompted Otago Neighbourhood Support to partner with Age Concern and their local ANZ Bank to run a workshop for residents in the Mosgiel-Taieri community. The workshop was so successful that it generated requests from other communities and community groups as far away as Southland. While it wasn’t feasible for them to run the workshop in Southland they provided the community with the tools to run the programme themselves.


Scam Savvy has given people the tools to identify what may be a scam and what action to take if they have been scammed. It has also provided an opportunity for people to connect, share and learn about Neighbourhood Support. It is an ongoing project that continues to be presented to various groups upon request.


The winner of the NSNZ Project 2021 Award is Scam Savvy - Otago Neighbourhood Support.

From L to R: NSNZ Deputy Board Chair - Peter Marks, Board Member Brendan Thomson accepting the award on behalf of Otago Neighbourhood Support, and Semi-Finalists Hilary Carson-Campbell from Motueka Districts Neighbourhood Support and Rory Chapman.

NSNZ Overall Award 2021


The overall award goes to a nomination from any category that stands out because it:


a. Demonstrates innovation,

b. Achieves a positive impact for Neighbourhood Support and the community, and

c. Has had positive outcomes for a key area of our work: safer communities, resilient communities and/or connected communities.


The 2021 award goes to a project that has taken Neighbourhood Support to new levels in its community by buddying up local volunteers with new migrants from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds. It has generated friendships, found people jobs, helped people learn to drive and supported people to gain the skills they need to participate in their community. It has provided new opportunities to not only new migrants, but also to the volunteers who take part.


At the same time it has encouraged collaboration between government agencies and other community organisations and the programme has been shared with other Neighbourhood Support member organisations.


It demonstrates what can be achieved when neighbours support one another.


Congratulations to Masterton Neighbourhood Support’s WeConnect project for winning our Overall Award! Accepting the award on behalf of the organisation was project Coordinator, Cathy Cameron.


From L to R: Tess Casey - Chief Executive Officer of NSNZ, Senior Sergeant Ian Osland from Wellington District Police, Cathy Cameron from Masterton Neighbourhood Support, and Louise Grevel - Board Chair for NSNZ.

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