18 February 2016
Community Fruit Harvesting wins Mitre 10 New Zealand Community of the Year Award 2016
Community Fruit Harvesting has won the Mitre 10 New Zealand Community of the Year Award, given as part of the Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year Awards 2016.
The awards, which were held in Auckland last night, are now in their seventh year and are a celebration of New Zealanders and what Kiwis stand for.
The Mitre 10 Community of the Year Award recognises team work, perseverance and enthusiasm and acknowledges groups that consistently strive to improve social, economic, cultural or environmental outcomes in their region.
Community Fruit Harvesting began as a local initiative on Auckland’s North Shore in 2011. Auckland founder and co-ordinator Di Celliers realised how much fruit from backyard trees in her community went to waste. She built a network of like-minded neighbours who worked to preserve fruit and distribute surplus it to struggling families, and since then Community Fruit Harvesting has built a team of locals from Kaipara to Wanaka, picking and distributing fruit to help those in need.
“What we do at Community Fruit Harvesting is hugely rewarding and I couldn’t be prouder of what we have achieved as a team,” said Ms Celliers. “It’s wonderful that with Mitre 10’s help, our team can gain recognition for our hard work helping others across New Zealand.”
Mitre 10 chief executive Neil Cowie said it was an honour for Mitre 10 to sponsor the award and he was delighted to see Community Fruit Harvesting being acknowledged for its tireless work.
“At Mitre 10 we are proud to call ourselves a locally owned and operated business and we know just how important strong communities are. Working together, taking initiative and getting things done are all big parts of how our stores and our people operate, and Community Fruit Harvesting has displayed these values perfectly.
“All three finalists should be immensely proud of how they’re helping their communities and I look forward to following their progress,” Mr Cowie said.
Other finalists for the Mitre 10 New Zealand Community of the Year Award include youth art development initiative Zeal and South Alive, a community initiative seeking to rejuvenate south Invercargill.
Other award winners announced at last night’s ceremony include Richard McCaw, who won the award for Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year and Lydia Ko, who won the University of Auckland Young New Zealander of the Year award.
Past winners of the Community of the Year Award are, Victim Support, Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Trust NZ, the town of Paeroa, Gibbston Community Association of Central Otago and the Victory Village.