The awards, presented last night at a ceremony hosted by Mayor Celia Wade-Brown in the Council Chamber, acknowledge the contribution of voluntary and non-profit organisations and their volunteers. They are sponsored by Wellington International Airport in partnership with Wellington Community Trust.
The Supreme Award winner, Wellington 2011 Inc, hosted the second Asia-Pacific Outgames in Wellington, which contributed between $1.3m and $1.7m to the local economy.
Not only did the Outgames bring many volunteers and visitors to Wellington, there were 1350 registered participants from 29 countries ranging in age from 17 to 76 years.
The category winners were:
- Taki Rua Productions - Arts and Culture category
- Mokai Kaingi Māori Centre - Heritage and Environment category
- Wellington Free Ambulance - Heartbeat - Health and Well-being category
- Wellington 2011 Inc - Sport and Leisure category
- Maranui Surf Lifesaving Club - Education and Child, Youth Development category.
Each category winner got $500 and the chance to go through to the regional finals next month, when they will compete against category winners selected by other Councils in the region. The awards attracted around 40 applications from a wide range of groups.
Mayor Wade-Brown said the event was a celebration of the community and volunteer sector, which was the driving force of Wellington's community spirit.
"The volunteer and community sector is the life of our city," she said. "Often at personal cost to themselves with little financial reward, they are the people who make the effort for the benefit of everyone.
"Volunteers work in so many crucial areas from earthquake rescue and recovery to the entertainment sector, such as sewing costumes for theatre shows, and of course the many volunteers doing a fabulous job for the Rugby World Cup. They are all ambassadors for Wellington.
"I'm delighted for Wellington Inc, organisers of this year's Outgames. The event was a huge success and made a significant impact on Wellington's culture, diversity and our local economy," Mayor Wade-Brown said.
John Howarth, Wellington Airport's Acting CEO, said the hard work put in by these dedicated groups plays an invaluable role in the community.
"The awards show our appreciation for the many ways in which these groups enhance the character and identity of the Wellington region while also emphasising the wonderful contribution all volunteers give to our community."