Community & Environment

Dancing and dogs animate awards ceremony

Featuring mobility dogs and Cook Island dancing, the Hamilton Civic Awards ceremony was a festive mix of fun and formality.

Eleven community champions were presented with Hamilton Civic Awards in front of a crowd of supporters at Hamilton City Council’s reception lounge yesterday.

The Civic Awards recognise substantial service of a voluntary nature or beyond normal employment benefiting the city of Hamilton and its people.

The recipients represented a range of organisations and interests, including disability support, environmental advocacy, women’s refuge, education, and the refugee community.

While the contributions to Hamilton and Hamiltonians by the recipients were diverse, their reactions to being nominated for the awards were consistently of humility and acknowledgement of others.

Family, friends, colleagues, community and the organisations the recipients work or volunteer for were all mentioned as motivations for the dedication they’ve shown to the causes, and deserving of sharing in the awards.

Lindsay Cumberpatch, who was recognised for his service to the community and campaigning for social justice, summed up the recipients’ sentiments.

“This is hugely humbling,” he said. “You don’t do these things for recognition, but it’s nice if people notice what we do. It seems like we are making a difference.”

A number of awardees were further honoured during the ceremony with waiata tributes, while Rouruina Toa’s presentation was met with Cook Island singing, drumming and dancing.

Mobility Dog Trust puppy raiser and advocate Veronica Garcia Gil was joined on stage by a group of her current pooch pupils.

Hamilton City Council wishes to acknowledge the immeasurable devotion each of the recipients has demonstrated to make Hamilton a better place and improving the wellbeing of Hamiltonians.


  • Lindsay Cumberpatch – service to community development
  • Veronica Garcia Gil – service to the community
  • Shalini Guleria – service to education
  • Katherine Hay – service to the environment
  • Pirihira (Pat) Kaio – service to the community and environment
  • Ngaire Kelly – service to women’s refuge
  • John McIntosh – service to the disability sector
  • Guillaume Muzombo – service to the refugee community (posthumous award)
  • Dhirendra Naresh – service to the community
  • Janne Nottage – service to the disability sector and community groups
  • Rouruina Toa – service to the community

A second round of Civic Awards for 2019 will open for nomination in October and be presented in December.

Images from the ceremony can be found here.

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