The Trust is a ‘Leading Light’!

Leading Light 2015_Badges_finalistThe West Coast Penguin Trust has today been named as a finalist in both the Not For Profit and the Environment categories of the 2014 West Coast Leading Light Business Excellence Awards.

The Trust has been a previous finalist and a winner of the Not for Profit award, but with a new Environment category on offer this year, the Trust hoped to achieve further recognition and support for its conservation achievements by entering for this award. 

Being named a finalist in the Not for Profit category, sponsored by Westland Milk Products, and in the Environment category, sponsored by the Department of Conservation means a great deal and will result in some very positive exposure for the Trust and its projects in the coming weeks.  The winners will be announced on 8th May.

Three projects have played a major part in the Trust’s work over the past year or so, each of which has started with and then gained much more community support. 

The first, which many coasters and visitors will have seen, is the 2.6km penguin protection fence north of Punakaiki.  With a total value of $50,000, the Trust’s ambition was a high one, but the fence was completed in time for the 2014 nesting season and we’re delighted to report that the nesting season passed off without a single penguin fatality on the road where three colonies of blue penguins are now protected by the fence.

The second was the well received Penguin and Other Seabird Education Resource.  This wonderful package of material, games and activities has been distributed to all primary schools and youth groups in the region and downloaded over 70 times around the country.

Finally, the Trust embarked on a project in South Westland to identify what if any are the land based predators of one of the rarest penguins in the world, the Fiordland crested penguin or tawaki, so that appropriate control measures can be put in place if required.

Our volunteers, supporters and sponsors have been key to the achievement of these projects and our work and we are tremendously grateful.  Some who deserve a special mention are Geoff Robson, Fiona Macdonald, Kristine Hickford, Kevin Dash, Bill Johnson, Mark Pinner and Dermot O’Connor, Ajay Krishna and Holcim, Maccaferri, Landmark, Healthpost, our wonderful Trustees and many others.

In the Environment category, our fellow finalists are Holcim, who as a key sponsor of the Trust, we already know are passionate about the environment, both at their Cape Foulwind site and for the whole of the West Coast.  The third finalist is the Scenic Hotel at Franz Josef.  Congratulations to Ajay and the Holcim team, and the Scenic team at Franz Josef!

In the Not for Profit category, there is one other finalist, Te Runanga o Ngati Waewae Inc.  They have had a remarkable year, completing a magnificent new marae at Arahura after a few years of intensive fundraising and project management.  Congratulations to Chairman Francois Tumahai and his team.

Leading Light 2015_Badges_finalist