Introduction

The Tongariro Taupo community came out in force on Tuesday night at Wairakei Golf + Sanctuary to celebrate those individuals and groups recognised as outstanding in conservation.

Awarded annually by the Tongariro Taupo Conservation Board and the Department of Conservation, the Tūroa te Ao – Act for Nature Awards are presented during Conservation Week to recognise excellence in conservation locally.

The award in the business category went to Genesis Energy, in recognition of their support of the Taupo for Tomorrow education program based at the Tongariro National Trout Centre. David Speirs, Department of Conservation Partnership Director said “Genesis Energy's contribution is an excellent example of commercial partners investing in conservation education because they understand the value to their businesses of maintaining the health of New Zealand’s environment.”

Bonny Lawrence of Genesis Energy with the first Taupo for Tomorrow teacher Thea Depetris in the classroom at the Tongariro National Trout Centre.
Bonny Lawrence of Genesis Energy with the first Taupo for Tomorrow teacher Thea Depetris in the classroom at the Tongariro National Trout Centre

Bike Taupo were awarded in the community category for their outstanding efforts on mountain bike track building, maintenance and wilding pine control. “Bike Taupo excel in providing and maintaining new cycle opportunities in the Lake Taupo district”, says Dave Lumley, Central Plateau Services Manager for the Department of Conservation.

Bike Taupo track builder Bruce Jaine, out doing some restoration planting.
Bike Taupo track builder Bruce Jaine, out doing some restoration planting. 

The individual leadership conservation award went to Laura Dawson, for her long term commitment to local and regional conservation. “Laura Dawson is the “Great Helmswoman” (chair) of the Central North Island Blue Duck Charitable Trust, whose diplomacy, positivity and genuine commitment to conservation are respected by everyone who has worked with her through the trust.” says fellow Central Blue Duck trustee Peter Morton.

Laura Dawson with a young whio about to be released onto the Whakapapa River. Laura Dawson with a young whio about to be released onto the Whakapapa River

The school conservation project award was given to Wairakei School for their Envirogroup Aquaponics project. In presenting the award, Partnerships Manager Natasha Hayward said “this student led project demonstrates problem solving, communication and conservation learning across the syllabus which has engaged the wider school community and become part of the school’s culture.”

Students tending plants in the Wairakei Primary School Aquaponic garden. Students tending plants in the Wairakei Primary School Aquaponic garden

 

Summary of 2015 winners

  • Genesis Energy, Business Conservation Award
  • Bike Taupo, Conservation Community Group Award
  • Laura Dawson, Individual/Leadership Conservation Award
  • Wairakei Primary School, School Conservation Project Award

Turoa te Ao

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