Wed 24 Feb 21
Ruapehu’s 2020 Citizen of the Year Awards were presented at this week’s Council meeting to Mark Fredericks and Sally Lashmar of Owhango, and Major Patrick Hibbs (retired) of Motuoapa.
The Northern Ruapehu Citizen Award is presented to a resident or residents living within the National Park, Taumarunui and Ohura Ward areas while the Waimarino-Waiouru Award covers the southern half of the district.
Mark Fredericks and Sally Lashmar were jointly awarded the Northern Ruapehu Citizen Award for establishing Owhango Alive and their on-going leadership of the predator control volunteer group.
Major Hibbs was awarded the Waimarino-Waiouru Citizen Award for his work with the Waiouru community and local iwi Ngāti Rangi during the period of significant change at the Waiouru Military Camp over the last 10 years.
Owhango Alive which was established in 2011 to develop predator control lines and monitor the traps and has since recorded over 5,000 kills.
In addition to the work of managing the trap lines Owhango Alive produces a regular newsletter that keeps the volunteers and community up-to-date on the success of trapping efforts, as well as with stories and information on local flora and fauna, and local events.
The work undertaken by Major Hibbs was instrumental in helping to keeping the local Waiouru community and iwi informed about the changes occurring at the Military Camp including the outsourcing of some functions to civilian suppliers.
His approach of working within the community was key to bringing people along on the journey and helping to calm concerns about the future of the Camp.
Ruapehu Mayor Don Cameron said that Mark, Sally and Major Pat are all very worthy recipients of their Citizen of the Year Awards.
“Council is very happy to see them being recognised for the huge efforts they have put into their local communities and by extension the Ruapehu district as a whole” he said.
They are great examples of the type of people who work for many years doing the jobs that provide the supporting fabric to our communities.
The Ruapehu Citizen Awards are an opportunity to give people like Mark, Sally and Major Pat the recognition and thanks that they deserve,” he said.