Film Festival visionary and kākā saviours to get APWs

23 February 2016

Tomorrow the man behind the success of the New Zealand International Film Festival (NZIFF) and a couple who have made a huge contribution to their community will get Absolutely Positively Wellingtonian Awards (APWs).

Mayor Celia Wade-Brown will present APWs to Bill Gosden MNZM, and to Robin and John White at the beginning of Wednesday’s Council meeting.

APWs are for Wellingtonians who have made an outstanding or lengthy contribution to their community, the Mayor says.

“Bill has been involved in the Wellington Film Festival since 1979, now the New Zealand International Film Festival, giving Wellingtonians and New Zealanders the opportunity to experience wonderful films from all around the world.

“Last year’s festival in Wellington was a record-breaking success, selling over 73,000 tickets for the 17-day event.”

The other APW being awarded tomorrow is for Robin and John White, to recognise their contribution to their local community. They have a long list of accomplishments in Ngaio. Robin has been a staunch member of the Ngaio Crofton Downs Residents’ Association, and the couple keep the walking tracks map up to date and fundraise for local projects like the Silversky Track. 

Last year the pair went out of their way to protect kākā fledglings. Myfanwy Emeny, of Council’s Biodiversity and Urban Ecology team, says, “Robin and John motivated the local community to keep their cats indoors, their dogs on leashes and organised for the locals to keep watch over the fledglings until they were safe. 

“This resulted in a much greater awareness of our wonderful native biodiversity, and showed the determination of Robin and the local community to protect it.”

Bill, Robin and John will be presented with their awards at the beginning of the full Council meeting on Wednesday February 24, due to begin at 5.30pm at Council’s Committee Room 1, 101 Wakefield Street.

Citations and further details available on request. Media are welcome to attend the Council Meeting.