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Community of the Year Award celebrates the spirit of Aotearoa NZ – Mitre10

The 2024 Mitre 10 Community of the Year Award Ngā Pou Whirinaki o te Tau honours all the people and groups who gave their time, energy and hard graft to help the regions most affected by Cyclone Gabrielle.

Part of the New Zealander of the Year Awards, the Mitre 10 Community of the Year Ngā Pou Whirinaki o te Tau recognises groups who have shown the very best of community spirit. They are communities of people who, together, have made an outstanding impact on the communities they serve. Their achievements enhance the social, economic, cultural or environmental wellbeing of New Zealanders.

This year, in a departure from tradition, the award win recognises all the people and groups who volunteered in the aftermath of Cyclone Gabrielle, the worst storm to hit New Zealand in decades. Whether they helped with rescue operations, provided shelter and food, drove supplies around the motu, supported the recovery efforts, helped neighbours clear out their homes, or cared for the environment and animals, they are all winners of this award.

The awards office received such a volume of nominations for groups involved in the cyclone response that it was impossible to carry some through the judging rounds and not others. An unusual decision was taken – that all those nominations would be combined into one overarching entry representing all who had voluntarily contributed time, care, hard physical mahi and support.

“If you helped in any way, big or small, this award is for you. The heart, soul and spirit of this country are evident in the way our communities come together to face challenges and adversity, and in the bonds we build as we find a way forward together. To everyone who volunteered, we thank you and we applaud you,” said Andrea Scown, Chief Executive Officer of Mitre 10 New Zealand.

In the weeks following the cyclone, Mitre 10 launched a fundraising campaign which, through the generosity of customers and team members, raised over $425,000 to support weather-impacted communities. The donations were channelled directly to Mayoral Relief Funds in Tairāwhiti, Hawkes Bay, Wairoa, Thames Coromandel, Northland and Auckland. The co-operative also donated tools, protective gear and essential supplies to volunteer groups supporting the rescue and recovery effort.

“Our huge congratulations to Te Puna Reo o Manga Tangaroa and to Aviva as outstanding finalists too. Every year, the nominations for this award remind us of the importance of community and connection, of the power and potential of supporting each other and working together towards a common goal,” Scown continued.

The Mitre 10 Community of the Year Award, Ngā Pou Whirinaki o te Tau was presented at the New Zealander of the Year Awards Gala Dinner in Auckland last night, 27 March 2024.


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