Wellington safe city heroes honoured

2 October 2015

The brave, the selfless and the safety-conscious received Safety in the City Awards last night from Wellington City Council for their contribution to keeping Wellington safe.

Left to right, Deputy Mayor Justin Lester, Payge Olds, Kelly McKay and Insp. Terry Van Dillen

Deputy Mayor Justin Lester, Payge Olds, Kelly McKay and Inspector Terry Van Dillen


The eleven awards were presented by Acting Mayor, Councillor Justin Lester, and Police Operations Commander, Inspector Terry Van Dillen.

Councillor Lester says Wellington is the only Capital in the world to be designated an International Safe Community by the World Health Organisation.

“The winners that were honoured have helped uphold our Safe Community designation,” he says. “Their contribution is greatly appreciated.”

This year’s winners included two exceptional young women who risked their own lives to try and save a stranger, committed CCTV volunteers, ethnic groups such as the Pasifika Patrollers and Ngāti Toa Māori Wardens, a Local Host put on the spot on her first weekend on the job and an artist who constructed an anti-bullying mural.

Councillor Eagle says volunteers and people who look out for their neighbours are the backbone of the Wellington community.

“I sincerely thank all of the winners and nominees for their work in keeping Wellington safe,” he says.

Last night’s event was the eleventh annual Safety in the City Awards, and included the presentation of the Royal Humane Society Award to Thomas McBride for saving the life of a drowning man.

Full list of Safety in the City Award recipients

  • Payge Olds and Kelly MacKay: 16 year-old Payge swum over 70 metres to pull a drowning man to the surface. When she and two others got him out of the water, her cousin, 15 year-old Kelly, performed CPR until emergency services arrived
  • Rhys Egan: Rallied students and community to help him and the Wellington Boys’ and Girls’ Institute create an anti-bullying mural on Boulcott Street
  • Penny Harrington: Regular CCTV night shift volunteer
  • Tania Stone: Young CCTV volunteer and committed Camera Base coordinator
  • Melissa Gray: Local Host who called emergency services and kept bystanders calm when a girl couldn’t breathe and was having seizures
  • Wellington Pasifika Patrol: Visible community presence aiming to reduce crime and act as a liaison between the Pasifika community and Police
  • Charles Swart and the Lyall Bay Surf Lifesaving Club: Rescued a young boy who had fallen off his surfboard and couldn’t stay afloat
  • Ngāti Toa Māori Wardens: Visible community group who build rapport with the public and respond to calls to patrol from Police, Iwi and the local Wellington community
  • Tawa Community Patrol: Three patrollers went above and beyond to help locals during the May floods – they checked on shops, roads and residents and offered assistance
  • Grant Burley: minimising crime and graffiti in Mt Vic by engaging his neighbours and getting involved in graffiti prevention
  • The Wellington Coastguard: Continuous effort to promote water safety and aid those in need