2016 Community Honours


John Brock

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John Brock has been a familiar face to the Pohangina community for over 30 years. “We all work to just get things done.”

John is known for his dedicated work to the Pohangina Valley Community Committee, the district’s longest standing community committee. In 1994 John became secretary and continued to take exemplary minutes for 20 years. His presentations and submissions to Council were professional and were always complemented by his use of spectacular imagery. John has been involved in many subcommittees over the years highlighting his incredible work ethic and ability to persevere with projects that would often take many years to become a reality. John continues to champion the preserving vistas such as the Valley Road Lookout, and the recently formed Culling Walkway was a community project John has been instrumental in developing.

Graduating with a Masters in Science, John was employed by the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research as a Grass Scientist in a career spanning his entire working life. John’s broad knowledge in this area continues to be tapped into not only locally but around the world. His advice given on nitrogen fixation in a voluntary capacity is exuded with the same passion as he did as an employee.

‘Project Pohangina’ could be described as one of John’s biggest achievements, where he worked tirelessly to bring together the residents throughout the Valley to gather their thoughts and aspirations for the future of their community. This put Pohangina on the map with guest speakers coming throughout the country and locals joining together in unprecedented numbers. This culminated in the vision: ‘Pohangina - a great place to live’.

John helped establish what has become the hub of Pohangina Village - the County Fayre - in 1989. Through his skill and love of photography he worked alongside Jim Lundy and used original photos taken by Margaret Sulsby to create a visual story of the history of the Pohangina Valley. This is on permanent display for all visitors and residents to admire.

John has held a range of appointments at the Methodist Church in Pohangina and Ashhurst. His passion for the youth has seen the coordination of many day hikes and overnight tramping expeditions with the aim to bring families together. His passion lies with challenging young people in a safe environment while at the same time instilling into them a sense of discovery and appreciation of the incredible land we live in.

John also took over the running of the annual Down Hill Walk which was initiated in 1999. John continues his involvement today with ongoing maintenance of the tracks for this widely publicised event which has become a regular pilgrimage for walkers across the region and beyond.

Alan Rowe

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Alan Rowe has given freely of his talents and services to the community around him for more than 50 years. “I find great joy in entertaining a family of generations”.

Alan Rowe is a music man, collector and restorer of classic and vintage cars, farm machinery and novelty rides, a Christian youth group leader, a Rongotea school board of trustee, a dairy farmer and an artificial breeding technician.

Whether it be entertaining the elderly, funeral services, funerals, commemorations, Christmas breakups or school reunions, Alan and his accordion will be there. His time and talent, not for financial reward, but to be of service to others and for his true love of music. Overtime he has had his late  mother join him on the piano and his wife and family with various instruments in hand.

Alan is always willing to make available his vintage vehicles and collection of novelty bikes to various community groups for parades and fundraisers to give pleasure to others. Alan has attended the Manawatu Child Cancer Christmas party for many years now with his collection in tow.

Alan’s church is a very big part of his life having been involved for over 50 years with the Open Brethren Every Boy’s and Girl’s Rally, Bible in Schools and the summer Christian beach programme.

Alan served on the Rongotea School committee for one term of four years and then on the School Board of Trustees for nine years as Treasurer. He has also freely given his services to the Rongotea Lions Club over a period of 40 years.

A successful dairy farmer, and an AB technician for 50 years Alan is well-known and respected throughout the wider Rongotea community.

Richard Bain

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Loyal, hardworking and dedicated to the many teams he is a part of, when you think of Richard Bain, the first thing that springs to mind is selfless. “I’ll keep going until I can’t go anymore”

Richard has been an integral part of the Halcombe community for many years. He spent nine years on the Halcombe School Board of Trustees, continuing to serve after his children had moved on. In early 2009 he was part of the group that brought the Halcombe Community Development Group back to life and was elected as Chairperson. He held this position until 2013.

He has spent hours, totalling years giving his time to the Halcombe community. Richard also dedicates immense effort to the Hub Church and the NZ Military Vehicles Club where he has been secretary for the last six years. When the church was established 10 years ago, Richard and his wife Faye were the first to volunteer their support.

Richard has been described as dependable, and encouraging consistently giving himself to helping others. Many lives in the community are better because of the time spend in the presence of Richard. Richard gets on with the job and is always the first to put his hand up as the ‘true do-er’ that all communities need to be successful. Regularly known as Mr Fix It, Richard doesn’t do anything for the glory- he does it for the greater good and just simply because he wants to.

In recent years he has been one of the driving forces behind the Halcombe Community ANZAC Day service, which last year saw close to 300 people attend. And has been a key player in organising the annual Halcombe Carol service. He is always there setting up for any community event. He spent hours upon hours on the digger developing the Halcombe Community walkway and prior to that spent time shaping BMX mounds at the Halcombe Domain.

Richard has a unique ability to rally people together and many are thankful to have him in the community.

Amanda Street

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Amanda Street gets things done in Feilding. She is one of the truly humble and giving people that stands out from others, doing it from the heart but in a very strong and unselfish way. “I just do what I love to do and that’s it.”

Amanda is the driving force behind Evento. Her ten year involvement has seen her build the Wearable Arts Awards from a small event in the Feilding High School to a massive event at Manfeild Stadium, working all year round in order to get the show off the ground. Without Amanda it simply would not happen. During the week of the show she takes leave from her job and works into the night finalising details and double checking rehearsals.

Her very hands on approach has meant that she walks the talk and establishes trusted relationships from those who believe in what an event like this can achieve for young people. There would be few people that would know the extraordinary lengths that Amanda goes to ensure Evento continues to be such a successful event year after year.

She is extremely well organised and unflappable, as the glue and the driving force behind her small team at Evento. She works cooperatively with everyone, always giving credit to others. She is very humble and passionate about supporting youth in the creative arts and her efforts have brought great pleasure and reward to students and audiences alike.

Amanda has been fully involved in Feilding Intermediate School as a teacher aide and an active board of trustees member. The learning students gain from this is substantial and Amanda is always at the centre of that whether it be her creative input, practical ideas or just some understanding or advice. She also demonstrates the principles that endure in understanding the importance to our planet of the wise use of resources and making something wonderful out something others would wastefully discard.

Her work through her role of manager at Manchester House is done quietly but shouts of the sort of person she is. The reasons behind her doing what she does lie in her wanting to generate more funds and grow social services in Feilding.

Amanda’s caring stands out because of the considerable back bone that goes with it. When she needs to be she is the force to be reckoned with. Amanda will be the first to put her hand up to help and offer her time. She will always find time and will always take time for those who need it never expecting thanks in return. She is all about relationships and living out her values to make this a better community for those who grow up here.

Janet Bird

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Janet has demonstrated outstanding personal character and dedication through 25 years of voluntary service to the Makino Kindergarten.

Janet’s first tasks at the kindergarten were focussed on helping to keep the kindergarten clean and tidy, but over the years she has gained  new skills and now assists in several areas around the kindergarten including  the book club, folding of the notices that get distributed to the parents and always ensuring that resources are updated.  Janet loves to spend time with the children, assisting them when they are making collages,  she equally also enjoys catching up with the parents. 

Comments from some of the staff at the Makino Kindergarten include:

“Janet is an invaluable helper – she works quietly behind the scenes, doing all the tasks that the staff always struggle to find time to do”

“It has been wonderful to have Janet helping us over the years at the Kindergarten.  It has been lovely to see Janet grow within herself as she has learnt new life skills, her self-confidence and initiative have greatly increased over the last few years”

“Janet really loves being with the children – it is lovely to see her joining in the morning Hui”

Janet has a great sense of humour and loves being involved with both the staff and the children”.

For 25 years Janet has tirelessly contributed to the Makino Kindergarten on a totally volunteer basis and we could all learn a great deal from Janet’s selflessness, her energy and her positive nature. Janet is thoroughly deserving of recognition for her outstanding contribution in our community.