Community Service in the Hurunui Recognised

This year’s Hurunui District Community Service Awards have been presented to recognise exceptional community service undertaken for the betterment of the district and the lives of our residents. 

11 outstanding people were acknowledged for their contributions at an award ceremony held in the Waikari Hall on Friday night.  The popular awards provide residents of the district with an opportunity to recognise the voluntary service of their peers in a range of fields.

Mayor Winton Dalley says it is a real privilege to present the Community Service Awards each year.

“It is important that we celebrate those who are making a real difference in our community through their voluntary efforts.”

“This is a significant event in the council calendar that enables us to say thank you to those residents who give up substantial amounts of their time to play a key part in community activities such as the running of societies and sports clubs or helping out more vulnerable members of our community.”

“The awards ceremony is an important way of highlighting the unsung heroes of the Hurunui and shining the spotlight on the ways in which they go the extra mile for the community.  These people are all inspirational in their own special way.”

The full list of award recipients from Friday night’s ceremony follows below.


Left to right: Ray Miller, John McCaskey, Glenis Miller, Mayor Winton Dalley, Barney Beaven, Kerry Higgs (Absent: Gary and Lola Love, the late Aileen Brown).


Barney Beaven, Amuri Ward

Barney has been honoured for his involvement in many committees in Rotherham and beyond, including the Rotherham Citizens, Amuri A&P Association, Amuri Health Care Ltd and the Amuri Ward Committee.  He has also been a member of the council’s Sport NZ Assessment panel since its inception.  Barney is a standout member of his community which was demonstrated following the 2016 earthquake, when he and his wife Wendy went door to door checking on residents.

Garry and Lola Love, Amberley Ward

Garry and Lola Love have been awarded for their support not only for the Amberley School but also the wider community.  Garry and Lola deliver food parcels to families in need, taking boxes of bread to Amberley School for pupils to take home.  They both also run a series of community events with the Inspire Church, including the annual Hurunui Light Festival, Carols in the Park and a Christmas dinner for those who are alone on Christmas Day.  They have also taken great care of the Vanuatan migrant workforce, making them feel welcome and cared for while working in our vineyards each season.

Aileen Brown, Cheviot Ward

The late Aileen Brown has been recognised for her work as one of Cheviot’s valuable community members, quietly helping others with no thought of reward or recognition.  Aileen was employed as home help in Cheviot but went way beyond the job description, driving people to appointments in Christchurch in her own vehicle or do shopping for people whilst there.  If Aileen got wind of any excess fruit or vegetables she would pick them up and distribute them amongst the community to those in need.  Sadly Aileen passed away in April, however Mayor Dalley and Councillor Vince Daly had the privilege of presenting the Service Medal to her before her passing.

John McCaskey, Glenmark Ward

John McCaskey has received an award for a lifetime of support of the Waipara community.  John helped start viticulture in the Waipara area which has become crucial to the Valley and the Hurunui.  Along with his father and the community, he helped build the Waipara Hall.  John is an innovator, a thinker, and a real character who to this day continues to help his community in any way he can.

Kerry Higgs, Hanmer Springs Ward

Kerry Higgs has been awarded for his unwavering commitment and service to the Hanmer Springs community.  Kerry has taken on a number of different roles since arriving in the township in 1996. These have included being an orderly at Queen Mary Hospital, working as a lifeguard at the Thermal Pools, and being the village postie.  From 2002 to 2017 Kerry was a St John volunteer and is now a member of the Hanmer Springs Rural Fire team.

Glenis and Ray Miller, Hurunui Ward

Both Glenis and Ray have been honoured for their service to local societies and clubs.  Scouting and the Girl Guide Association have been a major part of this involvement for Glenis as she has poured hundreds of volunteer hours into both groups.  Other areas which Glenis has supported include Plunket, Play Centre, as well as Red Cross and Civil Defence.  Ray was a member of the Amuri St John Area Committee for 34 years.  He also established a recycling depot on his property in Hawarden until this was taken over and run under the Amberley recycling scheme.  Ray sat on the Spirit of Adventure Trust Committee for 10 years and has been a member of the local Lions, the Hurunui Ward Committee and the Sport NZ Assessment Panel.


Miriam Clark

Miriam was selected as the recipient of this award to recognise her leadership work that has made her an inspirational role model for youth in the district.  Miriam is an exceptionally hard working and diligent student, a dedicated sportswoman and a passionate environmentalist.  Miriam has demonstrated strong leadership in many ways and is always looking for opportunities to better herself, her community and the environment.


Caleb Wilson

Caleb was has been awarded the Youth Volunteer Award for his contribution to the youth of the Hurunui.  Caleb has been a leader at several youth camps and as a child he assisted his parents with the Amberley Foodbank.  For several years Caleb was part of the ‘Dead Boring Home Educators’ writing group where he took on the role of Play Leader for the younger children.  Caleb has recently become a Fire Service volunteer, joining the Amberley Fire Service where he has attended over 40 call outs and completed a seven day basic Fire Training course.


Glennon Cook (Cooky)

Cooky has been recognised for his volunteer efforts for the benefit of Hurunui youth.  Cooky helps those younger members of the community who need a little bit of additional support, be it muscle, time, money or just a listening ear, and does not expect or want anything in return.  Cooky founded the Leithfield Boxing Club in his garage and has given many young people the opportunity to vent their frustration in a controlled environment under supervision.