Coastguard Awards South Canterbury Local Volunteer of the Year

Monday 24 September 2012, 12:00PM
By Mango Communications



Tony Lister from Timaru has been described by his peers as the ‘linchpin of Coastguard South Canterbury.’ His extraordinary contribution spanning 16 years has been acknowledged at the National Coastguard Gala Awards Evening, held in Rotorua on Saturday night where he was awarded Volunteer of the Year for 2012.

Tony 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. This award not only recognises Tony’s commitment and dedication to Coastguard for the last 12 months, but for the entire time that he has been involved and the tremendous role he has played in saving lives at sea.

Mr Lister is not just active on the water but continues to be a valued member of the Coastguard South Canterbury committee. He has been the Unit’s Safety Officer and Training Officer since 2000 which has seen him attend every crew and public training course held. In nominating him for this award his Coastguard peers cited his outstanding organisational, leadership and motivational qualities as integral to the ongoing development of their unit.

Patrick Holmes Coastguard CEO says “Tony has worked tirelessly behind the scenes for 16 years to build crucial local relationships on behalf of Coastguard. His dedication to keeping people safe at sea, and on the lakes and waterways of South Canterbury is extraordinary and worthy of national acknowledgement.”

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.”

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 rescue as the most challenging 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.

Andrew McGregor, Air Patrol Volunteer of the Year
Andrew hails from Coastguard Canterbury Air Patrol where he has been involved as a volunteer for six years. He currently holds positions of Air Observer, Ground Controller, Incident Management Team Air Operations, and Board Member. He is being credited for raising morale within his unit and coming up with innovative ways to combat funding challenges in a touch economic climate. He has also garnered respect from his colleagues for his vast technical knowledge and leadership skills which have seen him inspire many fledgling volunteers.


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.