The Atafu Tokelau Community Group won the Supreme Award at the Wellington Regional Airport Community Awards, Porirua.
ATCG not only won the award category for Health & Wellbeing but also took out the overall Supreme prize, at a glittering event at Pataka Musem on 18 July 2023. ATCG President Les Tenise Atoni and Zachariah Reulu represented ATCG at the awards ceremony.
Les told Radio 531pi that as a Pacific people, we do things for our community without the thought of rewards and honours.
"We do it because it's how we live as a people to support our communities," he says.
"What it means for us, is that it's great we're acknowledged in this way and I think it sends a great message to government that like-minded communities play a big part in supporting our families and therefore we require other support from government and departments to ensure that we carry on as communities and voluntary organisations," says Les.
Les acknolweged everyone from the organisation's past - those who set up the Atafu Tokelau community.
"Our community was founded almost 60 years ago by those who migrated to this great country. It was all volunteer work, blood, sweat and tears. A lot of commitment, financial and time away from family to build what we have today.
"So it's a time of reflection, it's a time of remembrance ... we acknolwedge the past, the present and the coming together of communities. It's a humbling experience and very emotional as well, as we remember those who founded a community such as ours," he says.
Les also acknowledged all the other community groups who were nominated and the finalists, as well the many groups throughout the motu who do work voluntarily for their local communities.
Porirua Mayor Anita Baker (pictured right) congratulated the Atafu Tokelau Community Group and all the other the worthy winners, as well as those groups who were nominated.
“There are plenty of ways we can highlight our amazing volunteers and groups that are making a difference in our city, and this is one – the work happening every day is incredibly heartening,” she said.
“Our winners, and nominees, all demonstrate their passion for Porirua through their continuing commitment, innovation, perseverance and impact in our communities. I congratulate you all.”
Wellington Airport’s Manager Brand and Sponsorship, Jo Maxwell, said the airport was proud to celebrate the outstanding work of community groups in Porirua over the previous 12 months.
“These groups do amazing mahi to help others in the community and thoroughly deserve recognition for this,” she said.
“Congratulations to all the winners, and best of luck for the Regional Community Awards finals later this year.”
Wellington Airport will host all the regional winners at an awards dinner later this year.
Photos by Sarah Tansey for Mark Tantrum Photography
PORIRUA - 2023 WELLINGTON AIRPORT COMMUNITY AWARD WINNERS
Atafu Tokelau Community Group
Art & Culture
Winner - Porirua Multicultural Council
Runner Up - Pacific Connection Choir
Runner Up - Coastal Quilters
Education & Child/Youth Development
Winner - Wellington Riding for Disabled
Runner Up - The Voyage - Te Roopu Tiaki Rangatahi (TRTR)
Health & Wellbeing
Winner - Atafu Tokelau Community Group
Runner Up - Pataka Kai Porirua Youth
Heritage & Environment
Winner - Plimmerton Volunteer Fire Brigade
Runner Up - Predator Free Pukerua Bay
Sport & Leisure
Winner - Ᾱhuru Mōwai Trust
Runner Up - NCPC Taniwha Cricket Team
Winner - Taumata Whitireia