Mitre 10 Community of the Year Award breaks from tradition

by | Apr 26, 2024

The 2024 Mitre 10 Community of the Year Award, Ngā Pou Whirinaki o te Tau honours all the people and groups who gave their time, energy and hard graft to help the regions most affected by Cyclone Gabrielle.

The Mitre 10 Community of the Year Award, Ngā Pou Whirinaki o te Tau was presented at the New Zealander of the Year Awards Gala Dinner in Auckland on 27 March 2024.

As part of the New Zealander of the Year Awards, the Mitre 10 Community of the Year, Ngā Pou Whirinaki o te Tau acknowledges groups who have demonstrated exceptional community spirit. These groups are made up of individuals who have made a significant impact on the communities they serve, enhancing the social, economic, cultural, or environmental well-being of the people of New Zealand.

In a departure from tradition, this year’s award win recognises all the people and groups who volunteered in the aftermath of Cyclone Gabrielle – the worst storm to hit New Zealand in decades. Whether they helped with rescue operations, provided shelter and food, drove supplies around the motu, supported the recovery efforts, helped neighbours clear out their homes, or cared for the environment and animals, they are all recognised winners of this award.

The awards office received an overwhelming number of nominations for groups that participated in the cyclone response. Due to the high volume of nominations, the judges found it impossible to carry some through and not others. As a result, they made the unusual decision to combine all the nominations into one overarching entry that would represent everyone who had voluntarily contributed their time, care, hard physical work, and support.

“If you helped in any way, big or small, this award is for you. The heart, soul and spirit of this country are evident in the way our communities come together to face challenges and adversity, and in the bonds we build as we find a way forward together. To everyone who volunteered, we thank you and we applaud you,” said Andrea Scown, Chief Executive Officer of Mitre 10 New Zealand.

In the aftermath of the cyclone, Mitre 10 launched a fundraising campaign that raised over $425,000 to help communities affected by the severe weather conditions. This was made possible by the generosity of customers and team members. The donations were sent directly to Mayoral Relief Funds in Tairāwhiti, Hawkes Bay, Wairoa, Thames Coromandel, Northland and Auckland. Additionally, the cooperative donated tools, protective gear, and essential supplies to volunteer groups that were supporting the rescue and recovery efforts.

“Our huge congratulations to Te Puna Reo o Manga Tangaroa and to Aviva as outstanding finalists too. Every year, the nominations for this award remind us of the importance of community and connection, of the power and potential of supporting each other and working together towards a common goal,” Ms Scown concluded.





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