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Civic Honours Award Ceremony 2018

This page contains information about the 2018 Civic Honours recipients.
Updated: 8/11/2018 2:11 p.m.

​Each of Whangarei’s latest batch of Civic Honour recipients has put so much good work and good will into his or her community that it is a wonder there is anything left to do.

From getting women into the outdoors to looking after an island, from 34 years as a Justice of the Peace, to 20 years spent marrying people, from policing and firefighting to reserve development and Tae Kwon Do, from being a vet to supporting lifesaving, boating, schools and residents, the range of support given to their communities by this year’s four is very wide in scope. 

Councillor Crichton Christie, who chairs the Civic Honours Committee, says a Civic Honour Award is the highest honour Council can bestow on a resident.

“Only four Civic Honours are awarded each year in the Whangarei District. This year those honoured are Pamela Mary Stevens, Fay Patricia Colthurst, Warren James Daniel and Russell Rawiri, each of whom has made an outstanding contribution to the community over the years.

“Each one has done more in a lifetime than could ever realistically be expected, showing personal leadership, inspiration, sacrifice and dedication and kindness. They have left their marks on our communities in the best possible ways.”

Three of the 2018 recipients, Fay Patricia Colthurst, Warren James Daniel and Russell Rawiri, were announced at a special ceremony last week with friends, family members, the Mayor, councillors and local dignitaries in attendance. Pamela Mary Stevens was not able to attend that week, so was honoured with a ceremony including friends, family members, the Mayor, councillors and local dignitaries the previous week.

Pamela Stevens

Considerable contribution to the people of  Whangarei and the environment.

Pam was born in the South Island. After she and Grant married in 1975 they moved north to settle in Whangarei, where they have lived for 40 years. Pam taught in local schools until leaving to raise her three children.

Pam completed environmental papers at Northland Polytechnic and became the Northland coordinator for Women Outdoors New Zealand, introducing women to kayaking and tramping. When her children left home, she worked in Grant’s engineering consultancy and focused on conservation and education projects dear to her heart.

She devoted more than 20 years to the Friends of Matakohe-Limestone Island (FOMLI) as a volunteer, committee member and chair. Under Pam’s guidance, FOMLI made the island a predator-free sanctuary for young kiwi, built infrastructure, undertook native reforestation, created strong relationships with tangata whenua and partnerships with GBC Winstone and Council. She was a significant force behind FOMLI’s successful efforts to fund a full-time Ranger on the island and her Onerahi home has become FOMLI’s mainland base.

Pam has been involved with conservation projects and campaigns as a member of the Native Forest Action Council (NFAC), the New Zealand Canoeing Association and the ‘Save the Rivers’ campaign.

Between 1982 and 2000, she and four other young mothers formed the Storytime Children’s Bookshop Co-operative aimed at addressing a lack of preschool and junior school educational materials in Whangarei. She was a member of the Onerahi Primary School Committee and Board of Trustees and the Tikipunga High School Board of Trustees.

Pam has also served on the Te Kowhai Print Trust Board of Trustees for more than 13 years in the roles of Chair, co-Chair and committee member. During this time she has willingly taken on many other duties and tasks for this small arts-based organisation, including fundraising and building maintenance.

From 2013, Pam has worked with Northland Regional Council, land owners and Whangarei District Council to reopen a track on an unformed legal road between Cartwright Road and Mt Tiger Road, previously known as the Waikaraka Walkway. Once complete this will provide a wonderful recreational resource for the area, complementing other local walking and cycling tracks.

In 2016, Pam was awarded the Onerahi Association Order of Merit for her dedication to the preservation of Matakohe-Limestone Island, development of the Waikaraka Walkway and involvement with the Onerahi School and Onerahi Kindergarten. It is for these and her many other services to our community that she is honoured.

Russell Rawiri

Contribution to the wellbeing of the people of Hikurangi.

Born in Rawene and raised in Waimamaku, Russell left Northland in his early teens, returning in 1983 as a policeman with a wife and family of two daughters. His first position was in Waipu, after applying for a policing role in Hikurangi he and his family moved there.

Russell immersed himself in the community, with his love of people and sense of initiative bringing longstanding and positive change. He helped introduce the marae drivers’ licensing programme through which unlicensed drivers could gain legal driving licences. He helped organise the over 70s driver testing in Hikurangi and established rural and neighbourhood watch groups.

He was a member of the New Zealand Volunteer Fire Service for nine years and during his time as Station Officer he created the Fire Police Unit to assist the fire brigade with traffic and crowd control.

Russell was also an original member of the Waro Lake Project group and spent many voluntary hours developing Lake Waro into the community recreation resource it is today. This included taking two weeks’ leave from work to drive a truck carting many hundreds of tonnes of fill from the limestone quarry to the lake for construction of the Lake Waro track and parking area.

Russell has gone out of his way to assist Hikurangi Primary School on both personal and professional levels. He has the respect and trust of the school’s staff, pupils and parents and has been an integral volunteer member of the committee organising the school’s very important fundraising trail rides.

Also on a voluntary level, Russell provides Tae Kwon Do lessons for the community to promote self confidence, self esteem and self defence. He is a member and Vice Chairman of the Hikurangi RSA, proving especially helpful with local Anzac Day services for which he has been accorded the honour of raising and lowering the flag.

Russell attends meetings of many community groups to provide information about making Hikurangi a safer place. This includes the Hikurangi Business Association, of which he has been an active member for many years, offering safety and security advice to businesses.

He has also been a valued and respected member of the Hikurangi Friendship House Charitable Trust for several years, the group responsible for caretaking of the Hikurangi War Memorial Hall on behalf of Whangarei District Council.

Russell has an extensive and comprehensive understanding of Hikurangi, its people and environment. He is well-liked, well-recognised and greatly appreciated by people of all ages within the community.

Joy Colthurst

Broad-reaching service to the Whangarei community.

From an early age Fay has been involved in community, sport, church and Girl Guiding activities. Following her marriage to stock agent husband Frank, Fay contributed to many communities they lived in, through the Anglican Young Wives, tennis and squash clubs and kindergarten committees.

Since 1970 she became a member of the Whangarei Rugby Junior and Intermediate Management Boards, the Judicial Panel for Teenage Rugby and the Horahora and Matarau Primary and Kamo High School Parent Teacher Associations. She also joined a group of Ruatangata tennis players and supported their efforts to have artificial courts laid.

In 1982, Fay was appointed a Justice of the Peace (JP) for the Ruatangata community and in 1984 she became a Judicial JP. She has served on the Whangarei and County and Whangarei and District JP Associations, becoming president of the former from 1987-1988 and the latter from 1996–1998.

In 1999, Fay received the Thomas Kendall Award for her services as JP President and Training Officer and for her duties in all branches of the court. She convened the Judicial Panel and, after 34 years, has just retired as the presiding JP Officer and from her other regular judicial duties at the Whangarei Court House. Fay has also been Training Officer for both Ministerial and Judicial JPs and is now President of the Northland JP Association.

In 20 years as a marriage celebrant, Fay officiated at 574 weddings. In 2000, she began a 17-year involvement with North Haven Hospice, first as a volunteer and then through operational and governance responsibilities. In 2010 she became a Hospice board member and chairperson. She trained in ‘Nurturing Touch’ palliative massage for patients, helped train new Hospice volunteers and advocated for and represented Hospice at various events.

In the 1970’s, Fay took a leadership role at the Kamo Rugby Club that saw the addition of squash as part of the Club. She played a central role in hosting major tournaments and in 1973 became a founding member of the Kamo Squash Club, serving as women’s squash club Captain in 1974-75 and 1983. She chaired the Squash Committee and in 1990 was made a life member of the Kamo Rugby and Squash Club Inc, serving as president from 2008 – 2010. Fay was secretary of the Whangarei Junior Rugby Committee and also assisted Frank with the annual Vikings Rugby Golf Tournament and other fundraising activities for many years.

For five years Fay has also held an official but voluntary role as a community representative for a government department.

Warren Daniel

Outstanding contribution to the Ruakaka and One Tree Point communities.

Born in Eketahuna, Warren went to secondary school at Wellington College before heading to Sydney to study veterinary science. There he met and married Jean who returned to Hawera with him in 1962. The couple and their sons, Grant and Brett, moved to Ruakaka in 1967, where daughter Nicola was born.

As the local veterinarian for 30 years, Warren also found time to be deeply involved in community activities. In 1968, he helped create a foundation for the Ruakaka Surf Lifesaving Club, served as Clubhouse Steward, Vice President and President, changed the constitution to allow women to join the Club and compete in events.

In 1969, Warren joined the newly-formed Marsden Jaycees and went on to serve as organisation Treasurer, Vice President and President. In 1971, he was elected Deputy Governor of the Auckland/Northland Jaycee region and awarded a Jaycee International Senatorship for services to Jaycees and the community.

In 1974, Warren became an inaugural member of the Marsden Yacht and Boat Club, serving as Club Commodore and Vice Commodore twice and Secretary three times. For many years, he coached the area’s young sailors and was a race officer for both club and regional competitions. He is still active in all aspects of the club’s activities today.

Between 1979 and 1983, Warren was a member of and chaired, the Ruakaka Primary School Committee and Ruakaka Parish Residents and Ratepayers Association(RPRRA), the latter seeing him lobby successfully to have a police station established at Ruakaka.

When the Marsden Point Oil Refinery undertook a major expansion in the 1980’s, significantly impacting the Ruakaka and One Tree Point areas, Warren became a member of the Whangarei Refinery Expansion Social Impact Group, disseminating expansion-related information from the Refinery to the community. As chairman of the RPRRA, he was also a driving force behind a move by the organisation to eliminate household septic tanks and introduce reticulated sewerage in both Ruakaka and One Tree Point.

Since 2004, Warren has been a thorough and proactive RPRRA secretary, writing submissions to councils and letters to government departments to ensure the Ruakaka and One Tree Point communities remain in the forefront of their minds, policies and planning. He has also served as secretary for the Ruakaka Scouts Group and the Ruakaka Economic Development Group.

In 2015, Warren was recognised as Ruakaka Citizen of the Year and, in 2017, he became the inaugural recipient of Bream Bay Sports Award for Community Impact.



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