Beautiful words for Ngā Whetu o Te Mangaroa – Stars of the Community
The nominations for Ōpōtiki’s Ngā Whetu o Te Mangoroa / Stars of the Community awards were ‘humbling’ and ‘heart-warming’ said Community Resilience Advisor, Meagan Edhouse.
“Although there were only prizes for each category, they are all winners because there were such lovely nominations and a real acknowledgement of the actions of members of our community during COVID. I hope that they all realise the difference that their kind acts have made,” Ms Edhouse said.
The Stars of the Community awards were set up to acknowledged people whose acts of kindness big and small made it easier to cope during the pandemic this year. Nominations were invited online or in paper form and through the stall at the recent Eastern Bay Agfest and a winner drawn last week.
“The winners were Thornton Park Rest Home and Takapau Flavell.
“Thornton Park were acknowledged for their care and dedication to residents and their families during a really stressful time. They took extra precautions for the residents and their whanau, even though it was very tense for a long time.
“Takapau Flavell was nominated for many nights each week during lockdown, taking the long trip from Te Whānau a Apanui rohe through to the New World with orders for kaumātua and families up the Coast. Always taking extra care with the PPE and procedures and filling everyone’s orders.
“There were also many other amazing nominations from people who baked for families in need or essential workers who kept our industries ticking over during lockdown. It was really special to know how many great people we have in Ōpōtiki, taking care and looking out for others,” Ms Edhouse said.
The winning individual nomination won a New World grocery hamper and an emergency getaway kit, and the organisation won a large emergency kit. All nominations will receive a certificate from the Council and Emergency Management Bay of Plenty.
“Preparing for an emergency is about more than having a well-stocked first aid kit – it is about knowing your neighbours, looking out for others and seeing a need and filling it. That is what these people and organisations have done and what we celebrated with these awards,” Ms Edhouse said.