Wellington home to its very own superheroes

29 November 2017

Taika Waititi’s Thor and the Hulk aren’t the only superheroes associated with Wellington this month, with five Wellingtonians and two community groups being honoured by Mayor Justin Lester for keeping the city safe at the 2017 Safety in the City Awards last night.

Mayor Justin Lester with award recipient Bernice Te Ahuru with Matthew Aukuso

Mayor Justin Lester & Bernice Te Ahuru

Community leader Bernice Te Ahuru and the Tawa Community patrollers were amongst the seven recipients who received awards at the event held at the Wharewaka on the Wellington waterfront.

The awards acknowledge and celebrate individuals, groups, programmes and safety heroes that make exceptional contributions to the safety of the city.

“The winners of these awards come from all walks of life and contribute through acts of bravery, emergency responses, crime prevention and community safety campaigns,” says the Mayor.

Recipient Bernice Te Ahuru devoted time to encouraging a group of people who had camped for extended periods in Civic Square to move on. She supervised arrangements for their belongings and the clean-up of the space they had inhabited. With the support of several agencies, she helped to find them all accommodation and supported them to reconnect with their families. At least two of the group now intend on returning to school.

Bernice says she feels her purpose is “to serve people in a manner that includes enhancing lifestyles and the wellbeing of others.”

2017 winners are:

  • Jordan Moore (Excellent work as volunteer manning Wellington’s CCTV cameras)
  • Gary Mitchell (Custody Officer for NZ Police – recognised for a lifetime of helping people)
  • Bernice Te Ahuru (T/L Te Whakamura Ai Te Ahi)
  • Greg Hyland (Wellington West Community Patrol – recognised for his efforts following the 2016 Kaikoura earthquake)
  • James Gardner (WCC Park Ranger – helped an elderly man back to his car, after he found him suffering from exhaustion on a steep trail on Mt Kaukau) 
  • Sexual Abuse Prevention Network
  • Tawa Community Patrollers