Home' Waitomo News : 10 May 2016 Contents 4 Waitomo News Tuesday, May 10, 2016
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ORGANISERS have received only a handful of
nominations for this month’s Waitomo District
Awards organiser Waitomo District Council
community development co-ordinator Donna
Macdonald says she is unsure why there is a
shortage of nominations compared to previous
“We have many worthy people in our com-
munity and over the past five years there have
been many recognised. But there is still many
more to come.
“Lots of people enquired but when it comes
to biting the bullet and completing the form it
seems to be in the too hard basket although it is
a very simple process.”
Hosted by the council, the awards recognise
the outstanding achievements of individuals, who
through their exceptional community spirit and
dedication have made a significant contribution
within the Waitomo district.
Piopio resident Sheryl Johnson fought hard to
keep the small rural community’s pool open, and
her efforts have been rewarded with the district’s
Citizen of the Year title.
In nominating her the Piopio Community
Swimming Pools Charitable Trust stated Mrs
Johnson took up the challenge to keep the Piopio
community’s pool facilities open when closure
was possible due to rising costs.
Initiating a trust to oversee the pool’s manage-
ment she set about a management programme
to put the pool on a sound financial path, with
all users contributing on a more equitable pro
She has undertaken training in pool manage-
ment and her enthusiasm and commitment
inspired tradesmen and swimming supervisors
to contribute their time voluntarily.
Mrs Johnson’s efforts securing the swimming
pool as a valuable asset for the community are
acknowledged in her nomination.
Volunteer duties for lifetime achiever recipient
Graeme Plenderleith can be measured in decades
according to his nominee Te Kuiti High School
principal Bruce Stephens.
Mr Plenderleith (aka Plendy), a teacher at the
school for 28 years retired the first time in 2001,
only to return part-time for a further four years.
His nomination describes him as a generous
man with his time, not just with students, but
also with the community at large where he has
enhanced the lives of so many in the district.
He has served the community with skill sets
through band, music, ballroom dancing, sports
across the spectrum, advice and guidance to
sports and holiday programmes.
In keeping with Te Kuiti’s ‘legends’ branding,
Sarah Ashby’s passion for voluntary work in the
community has been described as ‘legendary” by
one of two people who nominated her – Alison
Described as a person concerned for the well-
being of others has seen Mrs Ashby involved with
organisations such as Victim Support, Te Kuiti
Foodbank, distributing gifts from the Waitomo
district’s Christmas Children’s Toy Appeal and
running the op shop to raise funds for the Home
of Compassion nuns.
She was also an instigator of the Waitomo
Support Centre which has been instrumental
in assisting other groups such as Women’s Ref-
uge, Victim Support, NKC Family Support and
Lifetime achiever Edith McIndoe, a woman
who had a passion for the ‘big shows’ also worked
tirelessly in the health sector in the Waitomo
After retirement as a public health nurse she
and a friend had organised to travel to Hamilton
to see Dame Malvina Major perform in the Johan
Strauss operetta Die Fledermaus.
After suggesting she had room in her car for
anyone else wanting to go, before long her car
The demand for locals to see musicals and
shows was quickly apparent, so Miss McIndoe
voluntarily organised buses, tickets, meals, and
sometimes accommodation, for keen theatre-
goers for 28 years.
She recently retired from this role after her
last big trip to Wellington to see the Edinburgh
Military Tattoo in February (Waitomo News,
The awards presentation ceremony is at the
Les Munro Centre on Sunday, May 29 at 2.30pm.
CITIZENS AWARDS: Sheryl Johnson’s efforts to keep Piopio’s community swimming pool
open have been recognised with the Waitomo district’s 2016 Citizen of the Year, while retired
teacher Graeme Plenderleith who has given countless hours voluntarily to the community in
sport, music and dance will receive a Lifetime Achievement award. FILE PICS
Handful of nominees
for citizens awards
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