Awarded for car­ing

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS -

Lo­cal con­ser­va­tion­ist Neil Belling­ham is the win­ner of a Com­mu­nity Lead­er­ship Award at the first Welling­ton En­core Awards.

Mr Belling­ham has been con­tribut­ing to con­ser­va­tion and restora­tion in the re­gion for 30 years, as a found­ing mem­ber of Friends of Maara Roa which is restor­ing the Can­nons Creek area of Bel­mont Re­gional Park; the Guardians of Pau­ata­hanui In­let, and through the Trees for Sur­vival nurs­ery at Porirua Col­lege, which he es­tab­lished in 2001.

The awards, hosted by Greater Welling­ton Re­gional Coun­cil, the Depart­ment of Con­ser­va­tion and Hawke’s Bay Con­ser­va­tion Board, also ac­knowl­edged Friends of Mana Is­land, who re­ceived a highly com­mended in the Com­mu­nity Part­ner­ship Award.

They also awarded Porirua Au­tocrash, which was highly com­mended as an ‘‘ emerg­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal busi­ness’’. The fam­ily-owned and op­er­ated car re­pair busi­ness has re­duced waste by re­cy­cling metal and card­board.

The team at Au­tocrash has im­ple­mented an en­vi­ron­men­tal plan to pre­vent chem­i­cal spillages that may harm the en­vi­ron­ment, and has mea­sures in place to re­duce en­ergy con­sump­tion.

The event saw 11 win­ners in a range of cat­e­gories, in­volv­ing groups, schools, in­di­vid­u­als and busi­nesses who go the ex­tra mile for en­vi­ron­men­tal restora­tion and con­ser­va­tion.

Greater Welling­ton deputy chair­per­son Peter Glen­sor said the com­mu­nity’s ef­forts were cru­cial in stem­ming the tide of bio­di­ver­sity loss.

He chal­lenged the award win­ners to tell oth­ers what they were do­ing, and show them how they could im­prove the bio­di­ver­sity in their lo­cal area.

‘‘This year is In­ter­na­tional Year of Bio­di­ver­sity and with it has come in­creased ex­po­sure about the state of the world’s bio­di­ver­sity.

‘‘ Sci­en­tists have warned that un­less we do more to pro­tect species, the in­tri­cately in­ter­con­nected nat­u­ral world will be dam­aged with dev­as­tat­ing con­se­quences,’’ he said.

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