Coastguard Canterbury volunteer Andrew McGregor is presented with the Coastguard Air Patrol Volunteer of the Year Award Coastguard Canterbury volunteer Andrew McGregor is presented with the Coastguard Air Patrol Volunteer of the Year Award CREDIT: Coastguard NZ

Canterbury Man Awarded Coastguard Air Patrol Volunteer of the Year

Monday 24 September 2012, 11:41AM
By Mango Communications



Andrew McGregor from Coastguard Canterbury Air Patrol has received the Air Patrol Volunteer of the Year Award at the National Coastguard Gala Awards Evening, held in Rotorua on Saturday night.

Andrew received one of the five annual national awards given to individuals and Coastguard units whose contributions to the organisation were recognised at the conference, as the Coastguard community came together to honour the year’s achievements.

Andrew was named Air Patrol Volunteer of the Year for demonstrating exemplary leadership skills. He has been credited with turning around the financial fortunes of the unit, largely by thinking outside the square and motivating other team members to do the same in a tough financial climate.

Reinvigorating the unit with his enthusiasm and demonstration of skill, Andrew has enticed a new generation of recruits ensuring the longevity of the unit. He has also become the ‘go to’ person for emergency services when it comes to aerial searches.

Patrick Holmes Coastguard CEO says “Andrew has lead by his own powerful example – not just talking the talk but walking the walk over the last six years. Not only has he led from the boardroom but he has continued to rack up hundreds of volunteer search and rescue hours building upon his extensive technical knowledge. We are fortunate to have volunteers of his calibre.”

Coastguard New Zealand President, Colin Small says, “This year’s award winners have all shown outstanding service to Coastguard and their local boating communities, and our sincere thanks go out to those volunteers for their commitment to saving lives at sea,” says Small.

Coastguard is New Zealand’s primary provider of marine search and rescue services.  It is made up of highly-trained volunteers who put themselves in harm’s way on a regular basis to ensure the safety of people at sea. This year Coastguard’s 2,398 brave volunteers brought 6,634 Kiwis safely back to land and devoted over 350,000 hours to keeping New Zealander’s safe on the water.

There are five categories for the awards –

Mitre 10 Coastguard Volunteer of the Year                                       Tony Lister Coastguard South Canterbury
Coastguard Rescue of the Year                                                          Coastguard South Taranaki
TelstraClear Coastguard Operational Volunteer of the Year         Nigel Hayton Coastguard Taranaki
Coastguard Air Patrol Volunteer of the Year                                      Andrew McGregor Coastguard Canterbury
Coastguard Rescue Vessel Volunteer of the Year                          Alex Wakefield Coastguard Whangaruru

The individual award recipients each receive a prize that assists in furthering their education, and professional development, within Coastguard.

Other winners:

Alex Wakefield, Rescue Vessel Volunteer of the Year
Alex’s Coastguard Whangaruru peers cited not just his enviable technical skills in their nomination but also the impressive mana attributed to this 11 year veteran Coastguard volunteer. Alex’s inclusive leadership style has garnered respect from his fellow Coastguard volunteers and the Northland community at large.

Coastguard South Taranaki, Rescue of the Year
The team cited this as the most challenging operation any of them had ever been involved in. Three fishermen are thankful Coastguard volunteers train to be the best they can be, when they were rescued in February this year from 2 – 3 metre swells which involved a seamless integrated rescue operation bringing into play all elements of their training and involved both land and sea crews.

Nigel Hayton, Operational Volunteer of the Year
Coastguard Taranaki’s Nigel Hayton has been described as the backbone of this tight knit crew. During his impressive 14 year tenure as a Coastguard volunteer, Nigel has been involved in almost every support role and never hesitates to roll up his sleeves if there is a job that needs doing. His current roles include: Unit Training Officer, Unit Safety Officer, Unit Callout Controller, Port Company Liaison, Replacement Vessel Sub Committee and Unit OPSCOM Appointee.

Tony Lister, Volunteer of the Year
Tony Lister has been involved with Coastguard South Canterbury for over 14 years and it will come as no surprise to his local Coastguard colleagues that he has been acknowledged as Coastguard Volunteer of the Year.
He has become the respected face of Coastguard in the Southern Region working tirelessly behind the scenes to improve and maintain working relationships with local fishermen and other community stakeholders. Since 2000 he has also held the role of Safety Officer and Training Officer which has made him a familiar face at both public and crew training sessions. The dedication of this respected volunteer, both on and off the water has made him a most deserving recipient of the award.


For more information or images please contact:
Anna-Louise Hoffmann, Mango Communications,, 09 354 1371 or 0274 996 277

About Coastguard
Coastguard is the charity that provides New Zealand’s primary maritime search and rescue service.  The organisation operates from a network of four regions and 71 affiliated units, located around the coastline and major lakes of New Zealand.  Coastguard New Zealand is a volunteer organisation with a charitable status.  It has more than 18,000 supporter members and 2,398 active Professional Volunteers who provide over 350,000 hours of their time each year to educate, protect and help save lives at sea. Coastguard performs over 3,000 rescues each year assisting almost 7,000 New Zealanders. There are currently 72 dedicated rescue vessels in Coastguard New Zealand’s fleet, 10 air patrol units and one dedicated communications unit.  All crew members on board Coastguard vessels and air patrol craft are trained search and rescue personnel working to enhance the safety of all New Zealanders when they participate in boating and water activities.