Green Ribbon Award winners

Te Korowai members and supporters have been celebrating after being named the winners of the 2015 Green Ribbon Award for protecting our oceans and coasts.

The award winners were announced on Thursday 4 June at the Beehive by the Minister for the Environment and Minister of Conservation.

Te Korowai was a finalist for the third year in a row and our hopes were high. This year marks 25 years since the establishment of the awards and more than 170 individuals and groups have been recognised as part of the Green Ribbon Awards since their inception in 1990.

For the first time, this year the awards were a joint venture between the Ministry for the Environment and the Department of Conservation.
This is part of the Government’s focus on encouraging a more integrated approach to protecting the country’s water, air, land, forests and endangered species. Ten community groups, organisations and businesses were named as winners of Green Ribbon Awards.

Te Korowai Chair Larnce Wichman was there to receive the award supported by Tā Mark Solomon and Gina Solomon. In his acceptance speech Larnce thanked Te Korowai members for their thousands of hours of hard work and the people of Kaikōura for supporting them. He also laid down some challenges for government.

“First I want to express our thanks to all those that made today possible. To Tā Mark Solomon for initiating Te Korowai. To Ngāti Kurī for sharing the role of kaitiaki, for hosting us, feeding us and engaging through the hard issues and celebrating the successes with us. To Minister Chris Carter for agreeing to the formation of Te Korowai. To the Department of Conservation for supporting us throughout, and for funding the process for the first five years. To the Kaikōura District Council and Environment Canterbury who have provided funding, staff time and help in so many ways. To the Department of Conservation, the Canterbury Community Trust, the Ministry for the Environment, Environment Canterbury and the Kaikōura District Council for their financial support.

“To the Fiordland Guardians for paving the way. To our facilitators Laurel Tierney, Peter Lawless and Barbara Graves for their navigation and patience. And most of all I want to thank the Guardians for the literally thousands of volunteer hours that have done the hard yards and seen the strategy completed. I also want to take this opportunity to acknowledge government, and to lay down a challenge to them. I cannot help laying down this challenge.

Te Korowai is by its very nature a challenge to the accepted order of things. We stand for fine scale management of the coastal environment. We stand for community leadership. We stand for the future of our place and our people. Our small country leads the world in many ways, but much decision making is centralised in Wellington when it belongs better locally.

“I want to especially acknowledge the Ministers of Environment, Conservation and Primary Industries. You have been prepared to embrace our challenge, respond positively, and take our community’s wishes to Parliament for special legislation. And now to grant Te Korowai this award. This speaks to me of statesmanship in the governance of our nation.

“On behalf of Te Korowai and the people of Kaikōura, I acknowledge that capacity to think in new ways. We look forward to this relationship deepening as we move together to implement the strategy. From the heights of Te Tapuae o Uenuku above to the depths of Hikurangi below it is Te Tai o Marokura in between which sustains the wellbeing of the people,” says Larnce.

“As chairman I was honoured to receive the award on behalf of Te Korowai o Te Tai ō Marokura and the Kaikōura community. The feeling of achievement was humbling when we were in the company of other environmental high achievers. This award truly reflects what a passionate community can achieve for our future generations, congratulations Kaikōura and to the many people that have assisted on our journey in achieving such recognition.”

Tā Mark Solomon said he was extremely proud of both Te Korowai itself and the community negotiations that brought Te Korowai to life and that it was an honour to have all that hard work recognised.


Te Rūnanga o Kaikōura whānau are thrilled and congratulate Tā Mark Solomon on his recent Doctorate. This is well-deserved and a great acknowledgement to Mark for his years of effort, dedication and hard work. He is a great role model and mentor. We appreciate his leadership, encouragement and support he provides to us all. He always leads by example – Mark there is a tea towel at Takahanga with your name on it. 

Congratulations also to Josh Boyd who went to the Gold Coast on 12-24 June to compete at the Australian open lawn bowls competition.

Josh entered in the singles, playing pairs with Saj Prasad from the Riverside Bowling Club in Blenheim and fours with Calvin Hart who is also from the Riverside Bowling Club.

With more than 6,000 competitors from around Australia and New Zealand the Australia open is a very prestigious event.

Last December, Josh and his mate, Scotty Mansefield played with Saj Prasad and Craig MacDonnell at the New Zealand open in Auckland. Both of them qualified in every discipline they played in, making it to the semi-finals in the fours – great effort by all.

We would like to thank the Kaikōura Bowling Club for their fundraising support to help Josh get to Australia. A huge thanks goes to Juile Neil Pablecheque, James Boyd and Kate Lawson from Lobster Inn Tavern Accommodation for their sponsorship and support. Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou.