Awards Recognize Local Achievement

The Council today was privileged to pay tribute to some of our local champions for the work they have achieved in our communities, our local environment and for our heritage.

Special Award:

Hamish Maxwell, from Cheviot, received a special commendation from the Council in recognition of his three years’ service on the Hurunui Youth Council and the local leadership work he has undertaken during this period and since.

2014 Community Service Awards:

Bruce Gardner, Cheviot

David Lott, Amuri

John Beattie, Hanmer Springs

James Drewery, Amberley

Paul Munnerley, Hurunui


2014 Hurunui Heritage Award

Waiau Citizens Association – granted $3,100 to remove and replace the stage backdrop in the Waiau Hall with a hardier product.

2014 Mainpower Hurunui Environment Awards:

Dianne and Robert Owen – granted $4000 for the re-establishment of the Ashley Forest walkway at 23 Barron Avenue Ashley Forest for the Community.

Jayne Arscott (Proseed) – granted $2000 to assist with the cost of eradicating Willows in a gully at 177 Amberley Beach Road.

Timothy and Elizabeth Miller – granted $1,000 to establish a native bush area at 103 Balcairn- Amberley Road.

Tracey and Geoff Topp – granted $3,000 for planting and fencing a water way and new pond at George Street Rotherham.


Award Details and Presentation Speech Notes:

Bruce Gardner, Cheviot

Bruce was born in 1947 and moved to Cheviot with his employment in 1981. Since that time Bruce has contributed to many sporting and service groups in the area.

This involvement has included the Cheviot Rugby Club, of which he was Secretary for 19 years, Coach of the Senior Team for 5 years and a Referee for 6 years. Bruce also researched, wrote and published a book to mark the Club’s centennial and he was made a Life Member of the Club in recognition of his contribution.

Bruce has been a member of the Cheviot Cricket Club since 1981 playing regularly until 2010 but he still plays when needed to fill in despite being 67 years old. Bruce was President of the Club for 5 years and is currently the Groundsman which is a commitment of over 200 hours a year. Bruce has also been made a Life Member of this Club.

Bruce also played Squash and was Secretary of that Club for 2 years as well as Club Captain of the Golf Club for 2 years. He has been Bowling for four years and during this time he has assisted in organising the Crackerjack competition for the Club which has been the most successful C rackerjack competition in New Zealand. Bruce has also researched, wrote and published a book to mark this Clubs centennial.

The Cheviot Lions Club has had the benefit of Bruce’s support for 38 years during which time he has held many positions including President, Secretary and Treasurer. During this time he has been heavily involved in huge fundraising events including the Nape Nape Fishing Competition, the Kaiwara Classic Cycle Race and local Auctions. He is also involved in the Cheviot Hills Cycle Race.

Bruce is a talented Country and Western singer who sings willingly at any fundraising or local sporting event. He travels throughout the South Island singing at Retirement homes and donates the proceeds to the Cheviot St John. He has recently returned from one of these trips.

David Lott

Dave grew up on the family farm in the remote Lees Valley, in behind Oxford in North Canterbury, and it was through driving tractors, he developed a love of machinery, especially bulldozers.

Dave cut his teeth on bulldozers in the early stages of what was then New Zealand’s biggest power station, the 320 megawatt Roxburgh Dam on the Clutha River.

Between 1945 and 1956 Dave operated D8 bulldozers from Otago to Bay of Plenty and the Huntly, spent a spell on the Snowy Mountains hydro scheme in New South Wales, a drainage scheme in South Australia, a coal field in North Queensland before returning home to Rangiora where he joined the North Canterbury Catchment Board.

In 1957 Dave bought his first Bulldozer, set himself up as a contractor and started work on the Wandle Downs Station and has been a major part of this Community ever since.

Dave has been a strong supporter of the Community, has been a committee member of the Waiau Citizens Association for the past 30 years, in that time he hardly ever missed a meeting and although he didn’t always say a lot what he did say was always worth listening to. Dave is still a valued member of the Waiau Citizens Executive Committee.

It is however his bulldozer driving skills which have been of immense benefit to the Waiau township community, Dave is the townships protector through his Waiau River protection work.

There is no doubt that Dave helped the Hurunui District Council and the ratepayers of Waiau save a considerable amount of time and money as a result of his efforts. It also meant that the work was done before the problem became any more serious than it already was. Dave had considerable expertise in river protection, as well as a good relationship with the then Environment Canterbury river protection officer Geoff Scholes. Ecan had to approve the major work to be carried out which enabled the Community to work under Dave’s expert direction.

The river protection work was started around 1987 – 1988. The first year work was from the Waiau bridge north to the back of Kelvin Hoopers property, which took a good fortnight, the following year the work was below the Waiau bridge and then continued up the Mason river behind the sawmill. After that, work was carried out at the mouth of Dog creek, and since then there has been continuous patch up work.

Every time there is a major flood, Dave and his son Bill will monitor the river levels at all hours of the day or night (usually the middle of the night) and if necessary call a small group of volunteers who will work with them to keep the river at bay.

Dave’s community involvement also helped set up the Waiau Township Water Committee, creating a water supply for the township; he stepped down from that committee just last year after 30 years involvement.

The Waiau Community in proposing Dave for this recognition describe him as “a very proud Waiau community member that prefers to work silently in the back ground with no fuss, going beyond the call of what most 85 years olds would be capable of and willing to do. We strongly recommend that Dave is a recipient of this award in recognition of the long service he has given the community.”

John Beattie

I first met John through the volunteer fire brigade some ten years ago and immediately he struck me as a colourful local character who loved his community. John gave 23 years service to the Hanmer Springs Volunteer Fire Brigade, never seeking rank but preferring to toil away in the back seat or taking on the responsibility of driver (which had me contemplating my religious faith on more than one occasion). Personally, I have missed John’s contribution to the brigade since his departure.

John is a very keen hunter and loves the great outdoors. He has introduced his passion to many young men over the years and is frequently taking visitors “over the back” for a hunt. I’ve had the pleasure of flying with John in a light aircraft over the terrain surrounding the Hanmer basin and his knowledge of the area is incredible. This valuable knowledge served him well when he spent a term of around five years with the local Search and Rescue team and even today he speaks of valleys and peaks in the Lewis, St James and Molesworth that few men could claim to know the whereabouts of.

John has an artistic side too, as he has for the last eight years or so been an active member of the Hanmer Springs band “The Notables” which play at a number of charitable venues around the district such as church fairs, ANZAC parade and Christmas Carols. He is also a past member of the Amuri Players both on-stage and behind the scenes.

John is a charitable fellow too. He was an inaugural member of the North Canterbury Child Cancer Foundation Committee and served a term of five years on their board. He also initiated the popular Child Cancer Foundation Golf Tournament in Hanmer Springs and for 10 years contributed to fundraising and organisation activities around this. He also took an active part in fundraising efforts for the retention of the thermal pools complex all those years ago before the Council took it over.

As if being rugged, artistic and charitable is not enough John has dabbled in politics as well, having served a term on the Hanmer Springs Community Board and being a member of the Hanmer Springs Centennial Organising Committee. And he is never short of a word or two of advice for me whenever he feels the need.

John is a worthy recipient of the Community Service Award; he is one of those quiet achievers who beaver away in the background making little fuss but creating significant change and contribution to our community.

James Drewery

When it comes to this Community Award recipient, there is no doubt he is a man of high integrity and one who looks to helping others in his community. No matter who you ask, the name James Edward Drewery draws the same responses - he is always there. He has a keen social conscience. He always helps others. If there is a need, James Drewery will help. He will get a job done. He is truly a community spirited person. You can always count on James.

As a young man, James served a joinery apprenticeship with Sparrows Christchurch, a successful joinery business of the time. He then went onto develop his skills in joinery and building until he had built up his own highly successful building firm, taking on apprentices. He became a tutor in joinery.

He is well known for his professionalism in his trade - a professionalism that enables him to be a highly qualified and valued craftsman in the local building industry. He takes this professionalism into every area he is involved with within the community and is always there when called upon.

James is also very much known as a family man whose children, grandchildren and great grandchild are close to his heart.

The reason behind his nomination concerns another of his interests which he has been able to combine with his interest of travelling - his Military passion. It is this interest that has brought about his nomination for this Community Award from within his own local Lions Club. Let me read you some of the comments from Lion's Secretary, Tony McKendry.

"Lion James has been a hard working member of the club since 1983 and while being extremely active over the last few years with our Anzac productions, it behoves me to report on the many years of hard work he, and his worthy side kick, Lion John Stopford, put into the construction of "Lion" park benches that can be found far and wide throughout the Hurunui District.

James is very active in his community service through his involvement with the Amberley Lions.

The nomination went on to say, "For the past ten years the Lions Club of Amberley District has been the organising body for the community ANZAC service. A responsibility carried out in consultation with a diminishing number of RSA members.

Prior to 2002 attendances were on the whole disappointing with up to 300 people attending at any one time. Showing confidence in “Lions" the executive of Amberley RSA invited our Lion's club to organise this most important day in New Zealand's history.

The club in turn was unanimous in its acceptance of this responsibility and appointed one of its senior members, James Edward Drewery, to head the project. James in turn used club members as "sounding boards".

The first major change in direction was to delete the section of the service containing a guest speaker and to replace same with a symbolic play involving “Lions" and a small number of non-members plus students from the three primary schools in our area.

Accordingly, the club's aim with this project is to:

To remember

To educate

To involve youth.

It should also be noted that the club runs Anzac Day poem competitions within our primary schools at Amberley, Broomfield and Leithfield. Lion James plans and manages this competition.

A considerable amount of time went into these displays which was much appreciated by those who attended the service. Also, a further educational experience for the young people involved.

With the aim of Lion James to have plays that featured the historical significance of named conflicts, and with a focus on the New Zealand service people, our first play was of 15 minutes duration and while being quite simplistic, achieved wide acclaim from those in attendance, so much so that subsequent efforts have been bigger and better culminating in our latest production held on ANZAC Day, 2013.

James Drewery wrote, produced, directed and starred in the play. Lion James, also built our scale models props. On that day the hall was filled to capacity, topping 700 people with standing room at a premium. Regretfully, many were denied access. Not bad for a township and surrounds of approx. 1200. Many hours of time and effort went into this production, causing people to reflect on the effects of war.

James is being nominated for this Community Award in recognition of his selfless service to the ANZAC Day celebrations and in particular his work to bring this service into high regard.

It is with this thought in mind that I have great pleasure in presenting James Edward Drewery with this Community Award. Well done James.

Paul Munnerley

Paul is a highly respected teacher at Hurunui College. Paul arrived at Hawarden Area School in 1981 and then had a 3 year period from 1993-1995 when he was Principal at Lagmhor Primary school. It was during this period that Paul recognised what he enjoyed about his teaching career and where he wanted to call “home”.

Paul makes a significant contribution to the teaching and the learning of his students and sets high professional standards for his teaching role. His passion for the school and its library progressed into his volunteer duties in the community library. He is the Teacher in charge of Information technology and his computer knowledge is extensive. Paul willingly shares these skills with members of the community increasing their understanding of Information Technology and he especially takes time to assist the older members of our community with patience and respect.

Paul plays a big role with school drama productions acting as stage manager for many earlier shows and lately as a cast member

The Hawarden Swimming Club has benefitted from the volunteer services of Paul for a number of years. These services have included checking the chlorine levels every three hours during the swimming season and providing the day to day maintenance which includes vacuuming and backwashing the water to keep it pristine for the school and community use. This commitment in the height of the season can take up to 8 hours a week. The management of the chemicals and the provision of water quality is a specialized job and Paul provides this without fuss or expectation. Paul has provided countless hours to the Learn to swim week where he has coached learners to be more confident in and around the water.

Paul is a member of the newly revived Little Unity Theatre group, and was stage manager for two of the earlier Hurunui Theatre Group productions. Several local weddings and other events have been video recorded and edited by Paul who freely shares his skills and expertise.

Other community commitments have included the Hawarden Fire Brigade. He has been the Quiz Master for many fundraising events for the school and library and is a long time member of the Hawarden Bridge Club both as a player and office holder. Paul regularly transports the more mature members to and from their weekly game.

Paul is an active member of the Hawarden Indoor Bowling Club, and, at the suggestion of the A & P Horse section convenor Sam Wilson, he has developed a computer programme for use at the Hawarden A & P Show. This initiative is a fantastic innovation and something unique to the Hawarden show thanks to Paul’s willingness to give his time and energy to this project.

Waiau Citizens Association – granted $3,100 to remove and replace the stage backdrop in the Waiau Hall with a hardier product. The Hall plays an important part in the Waiau community and being one of the older buildings of its type in the District it is important that it is maintained to the highest standard possible. The Community have wanted to do this work for some considerable time and now with this grant this will be possible.

Dianne and Robert Owen – granted $4000 for the re-establishment of the Ashley Forest walkway at 23 Barron Avenue Ashley Forest for the Community. The walkway will be known as “The Jack Barron Walkway” after the late Jack Barron who was a Ranger with the Forestry Service. The funds will be spend on planting the walkway with natives; to identify the history of the area and for projects to support education on enhancing the habitat and biodiversity of the area.

Jayne Arscott (Proseed) – granted $2000 to assist with the cost of eradicating Willows in a gully at 177 Amberley Beach Road. This is the first stage of a five year plan to restore the gully and a pond area and the only stage for which financial assistance will be required. Stage 2 involves planting natives and stage 3 will be fencing the area.

Timothy and Elizabeth Miller – granted $1,000 to establish a native bush area at 103 Balcairn- Amberley Road. The establishment of the area will attract native birds and wildlife which will in turn encourage a diverse ecosystem for native flora and fauna.  A large part of the grant will be spent on purchasing native plants and some on weed and pest control.

Tracey and Geoff Topp – granted $3,000 for planting and fencing a water way and new pond at George Street Rotherham. It is planned to do the fencing as soon as possible and during Spring and Autumn planting will start. The Topps plan to seek professional advice regarding the plants to be purchased and on-going weed control will be undertaken.