Rangitoto College, Karekare Landcare and the Motutapu Restoration Trust are among the big winners in the inaugural Auckland Regional Weedbusters Awards.
Weedbusters is an interagency weeds awareness programme supported by the Department of Conservation, Biosecurity New Zealand, Federated Farmers, Biodiversity New Zealand, NZ Landcare Trust, Nursery and Garden Industry Association, NZ Biosecurity Institute, NZ Plant Protection Society, and all unitary and regional councils in New Zealand.
Formed nationally two years ago, Weedbusters coordinates and adds value to existing weeds education, recognising people already carrying out the work and promoting new initiatives.
Auckland Weedbusters Coordinator Mike Harré said the new Weedbusters Awards “recognised the dedication and commitment of 'local heroes' who give their time to enhance the environment, and who help raise awareness of weed issues within the community.”
The Auckland regional winners were presented at a special ceremony this week by the Chair of the Auckland Regional Council Parks and Heritage Committee Sandra Coney.
Mr Harré said the quality of nominations was very high, and came from a wide selection of people and groups working within the environment.
“They ranged from individuals clearing weeds and rubbish from roadsides and adjacent private properties, to large groups such as the Motutapu and Motuihe Restoration Trusts, who carry out extensive weeding and replanting work on their respective islands,” Mr Harré said.
“Many of the nominees are actively involved in education and advocacy around weeds and their control,” he said.
The winners for 2006 in the Auckland region are:
Education: Rangitoto College JGI Environmental Group - for commitment to education, and raising the awareness of weed issues amongst students and the community
Public Land: Motutapu Restoration Trust - for commitment and dedication in weed management initiatives on public land
Private Land: Simon Grant and Stephen Cole - for commitment and dedication in weed management initiatives on private land
Excellence (Group): Karekare Landcare - for excellence in and commitment to weed management by a community group or organisation
Excellence (Individual): John MacKenzie - for excellence in and commitment to weed management by one or a few individuals
The winners receive an engraved wooden plaque, and $100 vouchers from Kings Plant Barn for plants or equipment to help them in their projects.
Auckland Regional Council provided the plaques, and the vouchers were funded by the Department of Conservation.
The Auckland winners of the awards will now go forward to the National Awards in July 2006.