Green Ribbon Awards for Environmental Achievement

  • Deborah Morris
Associate Minister for the Environment

The Associate Minister for the Environment, Hon Deborah Morris, has announced three Green Ribbon Awards to mark World Environment Day on 5 June. The awards, which recognise outstanding efforts to improve the quality of our environment, are presented each year.

"World environment day is a reminder that we all have a responsibility for our environment. Each and every one of us impacts on the environment in some way and we must all do what we can to minimise this impact.

"The three winners of the Green Ribbon Awards have made outstanding efforts to protect and enhance New Zealand's environment. We must applaud them and encourage others to follow their lead," said Deborah Morris.

The 1998 Green Ribbon Awards will be presented to:

Jim and Katherine Simcox (Otaki), for excellence in farming practices which sustain the environment;

Guardians of Pauatahanui Inlet (Inc), for outstanding efforts to conserve and protect the natural values of Pauatahanui Inlet in Porirua;

Southland Regional Council's Environmental Education programme, for developing and promoting an outstanding environmental education programme.

[A full background to each winner is attached]

To help promote World Environment Day the Minister will tomorrow morning (Friday) take part in a waste analysis protocol of household rubbish in the Wainuiomata area. At 11.30 the Minister will visit the Island Bay Marine Laboratory to discuss their work and the proposed Marine Reserve.

- ENDS -

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BACKGROUND TO THE 1998 WINNERS OF THE GREEN RIBBON AWARDS
Jim and Katherine Simcox, for excellence in farming practices which sustain the environment

Jim and Katherine Simcox operate a dairy farm near Otaki. They recently upgraded their operation, to improve their efficiency and profit margins. However, they also took environmental considerations into account. The design and installation of their new dairy shed incorporated positive environmental objectives, such as efficient water use, and an effluent recycling system. Use of rainwater minimises pumping from ground-water, saving electricity. Dairy shed effluent is used as fertiliser, which also reduces the likelihood of contamination of ground-water. The improvements were made using current guidelines, and in consultation with the Wellington Regional Council, designed specifically to avoid or mitigate any adverse environmental effects. The Simcoxes have also repaired erosion damage to their coastal property through tree planting and protection of the coastal strip.

They have demonstrated that good farming practices and the protection of the environment can work hand-in-hand. By positively using Resource Management Act and other legislative processes, the result is a win-win situation for their farm, and also for the environment.

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Guardians of Pauatahanui Inlet (Inc), for outstanding efforts to conserve and protect the natural values of Pauatahanui Inlet

The Guardians of Pauatahanui Inlet society was established in 1991, to protect the natural, cultural, recreational and historic values of the inlet, which is an arm of Porirua Harbour near Wellington.

The Guardians have taken responsibility for promoting the management and protection of the natural values of the inlet, and informing and educating the public about it. A major project has been the development of an excellent and comprehensive education kit for teachers to use in schools.

During the development of the education kit, the Guardians consulted extensively with community members, organisations and schools.

The Guardians have also organised scientific research around the inlet, provided submissions on planning documents and resource consent applications, organised community clean-ups of the inlet, and produced leaflets to raise public awareness of the inlet's value.

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Southland Regional Council's Environmental Education programme, for developing and promoting an outstanding environmental education programme

The Southland Regional Council's education programme, which began in 1992, is provided to schools throughout the Southland region. Recognising the importance of a holistic approach to caring for the environment, it involves a partnership with a wide range of education, community and organisational agencies - including schools, the Department of Conservation, the (former) Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, special interest groups, police, and people with expert knowledge. It is so well-regarded that some aspects of it have been adopted nationally and internationally.

The excellent resource kit used by teachers, is received during professional development workshops run by the Council, which has been designated as an education provider. As part of the programme's ongoing support programme, schools receive quarterly newsletters, and advice and information on how they might use the environment as a teaching tool.

Students and teachers are also able to access an Internet page, and more than 2,500 students have joined 'Brucie's Buddies', a free club for young people which encourages environmental initiatives. Members receive newsletters with activities they can become involved in, leaflets, stickers, a birthday card, posters, and badges. A survey of more than 300 cards which children made and sent in to Brucie showed clear perception changes in how they could participate in caring for the environment.