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Award Criteria & Information

About the Awards

Weedbusters Awards are about recognising the dedication and commitment of community groups, organisations and individuals. The awards pay tribute to 'local heroes' who give their time to enhance the environment, and who help raise awareness of weed issues within the community.

Everyone who volunteers their time to weedbusting is eligible for an award, and anyone can put forward nominations. If you know and value the efforts of a group or individual then make sure you nominate them; or if you feel that you or your group has been putting in good work, don't be shy - please feel free to nominate yourself.

Volunteers may participate in anything from weeding activities to field days, to information sessions or strategic planning exercises. Educational groups that endeavour to educate a new generation are being recognised, as well as industries or organisations that show commitment to educating, raising awareness and participating in sustainable weed management. Weed management might be only part of a project, but it will be an important part none-the-less.

Weeds are a significant threat to New Zealand 's natural environment and the success of weed management rests with a coordinated effort between government agencies, non-government organisations, community groups and individuals.

Award Categories

Public Land

Awarded to volunteers and community groups for commitment and dedication in weed management initiatives on public land, including protected areas.

The judges will consider
  • Any action plans and whether elements of good weed management are included such as: mapping and inventory, integrating control techniques, monitoring, follow up and restoration.
  • Evidence of commitment to weed management at the site for as long as necessary and of a contribution to the protection and enhancement of an area from the threat of weeds.
  • Encouragement of others to get involved and help to raise awareness of weed issues
  • Evidence of seeking advice from, and working with relevant agencies, e.g. DOC, Regional Council or other organisations.

Private Land

Awarded to individual land holders, volunteers and community groups for commitment and dedication to weed management initiatives on private land.

The judges will consider
  • Incorporation of integrated weed management initiatives into property plans. For example, addressing incursions of pest plants and new and emerging weeds.
  • Prevention of spread of weeds on and away from the property, for example by cleaning machinery.
  • Enhancement and protection of natural values through appropriate weed management initiatives.
  • Encouragement of others to get involved and help to raise awareness of weed issues


Awarded to an industry or an organisation to acknowledge dedication and efforts in sustainable weed management and/or educating and raising awareness of weed issues.

The judges will consider
  • Evidence of leadership in demonstrating sustainable weed management practices.
  • Commitment to developing and carrying out better weed management practices.
  • Commitment to education and raising awareness of weed management initiatives.


Awarded to an education group (e.g. , a school, scouts, guides, Lions). The award will recognise the group's contribution to raising the education and awareness of weed issues amongst students and/or the community and where possible for active participation in weed management initiatives.

The judges will consider
  • Learning objectives addressing weed issues are incorporated into the curriculum or the event.
  • Interactive learning activities, e.g., students or members participating in weed management initiatives within the local community.
  • Opportunities for students or members to learn from other people such as DOC and Regional Council staff or community groups.
  • Opportunities for students or members to share what they have learnt with others.
  • Fun learning experiences.


Awarded to a volunteer, community group, industry/organisation, or an individual for excellence in and commitment to weed management. Nominees for the Excellence Award may also be drawn by the judging panel from the other four Weedbusters Award categories.

The judges will consider
  • Dedication of the nominee to weed management initiatives.
  • Positive impact on the environmental, social or economic values of an area.
  • Commitment to help others within the community practice good weed management.
  • Commitment to educate and raise awareness of weed management initiatives


The judging panel for each region may include representatives from the community, regional, city or district councils, Department of Conservation, and the national Weedbusters Management Committee. Judges will use the criteria outlined above for each category to assess the entries in each category. Judges decisions are final.

It is recommended that you give the judges the best possible introduction to the work of the nominated group or individual. Where practical please include material such as photographs and maps to support the nomination. Photographs will be returned to the sender on request.

All nominees will receive recognition, and category winners will receive awards and prizes, which may vary between regions. Articles about each nominee and photos may be submitted to the media and may also be used on the Weedbusters website.

For more information, contact the National Weedbusters Coordinator at