City honours community champions
Four Porirua residents have been recognised for their outstanding voluntary service to the community.
Rihia Kenny, Professor John Wells, and Dave Wilson received Civic Awards at Pataka last week and Christine Stanley will be given her award at the next Porirua City Council meeting.
The Civic Awards recognise volunteers who have given their time to community, recreation, youth, aged, welfare, cultural and educational services.
Ms Kenny has been involved with the community of Takapuwahia and the wider Porirua area for most of her life.
She is the principal kaikaranga of Ngati Toa and is the first to greet visitors to the marae.
Ms Kenny is a long-serving member of Ngati Toa’s Kaumatua Council.
Professor Wells has had a love affair with Pauatahanui Inlet since arriving in New Zealand in 1976.
As a member of the School of Biological Sciences at Victoria University, he quickly became involved in research in marine ecology in the inlet.
He was also a trustee of the Karori Wildlife Trust between from 1993 till 1997.
After moving to Whitby in 1999, he became a member of the Guardians of Pauatahanui Inlet and chairman in 2003.
Mr Wilson has since 1997 committed his time and energy to develop the Ole Soccer Academy, along with its synthetic turf. The academy caters for 10 to 12-year-olds in Porirua schools.
With his never-give-up attitude, Mr Wilson has developed an education facility around sport that is unique to New Zealand and a real benefit to the Porirua community.
Ms Stanley has long been involved in voluntary work in the Pauatahanui community.
Her services continue to be sought, especially in connection with environmental management in the Porirua Harbour and its catchments.
She was one of the three founders and a committee member of Pauatahanui Early Education Society from 1985 till 1989, New Zealand’s first multi-purpose preschool incorporating a creche, kindergarten and playgroup.
She continued her voluntary work with the community as chairwoman and treasurer of the Pauatahanui Residents Association.
She was also a trustee and voluntary telephone counsellor of the Wellington Sexual Abuse Help Foundation.