Southland’s environmental champions were honoured at the sixteenth Southland Environment Awards held in Invercargill last night (Wednesday 6 July).
Over 320 people turned out to celebrate the achievements of a diverse range of nominees from all over the region.
The awards are organised by Environment Southland to recognise the good work being done – often behind the scenes and voluntarily – by a multitude of people who are committed to conserving and enhancing the region’s natural resources.
The winners were:
School (sponsored by WasteNet and Milligan Nurseries): Fiordland College – for their project “Kids Restore the Kepler”. Highly commended – Salford School.
Community Group (sponsored by NZAS): Oraka-Aparima Runaka – for their long-running project to restore habitat and return native species to Rarotoka / Centre Island. Highly commended – Dipton Landcare Group and the Stewart Island / Rakiura Community and Environment Trust.
Farming (sponsored by AWS Legal): South Coast Dairy Ltd (Chris & Lynsey Stratford) – for planning and establishing a dairy farm in a manner that avoids adverse environmental impacts.
Environmental Innovator (sponsored by the Invercargill Licensing Trust): Invercargill City Council Parks and Reserves Division – for the conversion of the plant nursery boiler to run on waste wood.
Commercial (sponsored by Landcorp Farming Ltd): Southern Discoveries Ltd – for their support of the Sinbad Sanctuary project to restore a sensitive and inaccessible area at the base of Mitre Peak. Highly Commended – Rain Espresso and the Rakiura Resource Recovery Centre.
Special Award (sponsored by Environment Southland Councillors): Barry Harcourt – for raising awareness of environmental and conservation issues through his photographs.
Environmental Achiever (sponsored by Real Journeys): Lindsay Hazley – for his contribution to the Tuatara captive breeding programme. Highly commended – Mark Sutton.
Individual Award (sponsored by Forsyth Barr): Chris and Brian Rance – for their ongoing contribution to environmental projects, including the Community Nursery which has inspired several other such nurseries, and their newly opened wetland and track. Highly commended – Tony and Raewyn van Gool.