Coastguard volunteers recognised at Local Hero Awards

Congratulations are in order for five Coastguard New Zealand volunteers who have scooped up Local Hero Awards.

The Kiwibank Local Hero Awards recognise and reward ordinary people making extraordinary changes in their communities. The recipients of New Zealand’s premier community award are identified for their stellar contribution and commitment in bringing about positive differences in their region.

Coastguard New Zealand is fortunate to have 2,240 professional volunteers dedicating their time to help make New Zealand waterways safer for their communities. This year, we would like to congratulate five of our volunteers whose hard work and dedication has been recognised by being awarded a Kiwibank Local Hero of the Year medal.

"These awards are a great way of highlighting the work done by these individuals who play instrumental roles in their local communities. These recipients represent the high calibre of our volunteers who are so much more than just keen boaties; their love for the ocean extends further as they work towards keeping New Zealand waterways safe for all kiwis." said Coastguard New Zealand CEO Patrick Holmes.

The Coastguard volunteer recipients of the Kiwibank Local Hero Awards are:

Nigel Griffiths – Coastguard Waiuku

Nigel joined Coastguard Waiuku in 2009 becoming a Master of Vessel, passing every training course in the Coastguard stable and is also the unit President. His personable nature allows him to work well with others, and remain calm in tense situations. He is always the first to get in alongside new members to show them the ropes and is currently in charge of the refurbishment of the main Coastguard Waiuku rescue vessel.

He also recently initiated a free training course, which is open to anyone with a boat, to instruct people on how to cross the notorious Manukau Bar, a sandbar in the Manukau Harbour that has claimed many lives over the years. All of the rescues he participates in, the training he conducts, the dedication to the unit and to his community – are all voluntary acts.

Pam Gilligan – Coastguard Wanganui

Pam began her days as an Assistant Radio Operator for Coastguard Wanganui more than 20 years ago and quickly became the Senior Radio Operator for Coastguard Wanganui radio which is manned 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

She is also Unit Treasurer and she maintains the Boat Register comprising of nearly 1000 boats. Pam works tirelessly for the Wanganui Unit. The many thousands of hours Pam has contributed to Coastguard Wanganui over the past 20 years makes her a remarkable and outstanding volunteer.

Peter Woodward – Coastguard Kapiti Coast

Pete joined Coastguard Kapiti Coast in February 2006. As well as being involved in Search and Rescue Incidents, he has become a key fundraiser for the unit and the fundraising team has raised over $120,000. Pete has been an effective committee member and is regularly coming up with innovative ideas to support Coastguard Kapiti Coast.

Lynn Stuart – Coastguard Wanaka Lakes

Lynn is Coastguard Wanaka Lakes Principle Skipper, a unit instructor, safety officer and board member. His personal contribution to the unit exceeds 175 hours this year. His many hours of service exemplifies his dedication and professionalism and he has been instrumental in the development of Coastguard Wanaka Lakes. Lynn has developed an outstanding relationship with every member and is the "go to" person for the unit.

Dave Johnson – Coastguard Waimakariri-Ashley

Dave is a rescue vessel Master and has been President of Coastguard Waimakariri-Ashley for seven years. After the unit’s building was damaged by earthquakes in 2010 Dave lead the team to secure a temporary operations base, moving back into the damaged building and then to another permeant base for the duration of the rebuild. He has ended up project managing the rebuild, dedicating countless hours in addition to his other roles.

Coastguard is a not-for-profit organisation and is fortunate to have dedicated and hardworking volunteers donating over 300,000 hours each year to help save lives at sea. The work undertaken by these individuals is invaluable for their local units as well as the organisation.

We are grateful for their efforts in keeping the waters safe for our communities.

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