DAD OF THE YEAR…
Visitor Solutions Environmental Leadership Award
The Visitor Solutions Environmental Leadership Award acknowledges programmes or individuals who have influenced the ecological worldview of participants and/or demonstrated a significant commitment to conservation or protection of outdoor recreation and adventure places.
Winner: ‘Didymo’ Dave Cade
Dave’s mission to protect the rivers of the Central North Island from the spread of Didymo has become legendary. A lot of his work has been self-funded through other conservation activity, in particular inventive ways to recycle. These efforts have, in turn, built wider conservation involvement opportunities for communities. His work in leading by example has sent a clear message to the public about the contribution they can make.
The organisation behind New Zealand’s national trail, a man on a mission to protect our rivers, and a couple who have helped educate generations were among the award winners at the annual New Zealand Recreation Association Outdoor Awards, held in Wellington last night.
This year’s Supreme Award was presented to husband and wife team John and Christine Furminger, a couple who have between them laid the foundation for many of New Zealand’s most respected outdoor education programmes over the past 40 years.
Environmental Leadership Award winner ‘Didymo’ Dave Cade was a finalist in three award categories this year thanks to his conservation crusade to protect the rivers of the central North Island, while Geoff Spearpoint took home the Outstanding Volunteer Award thanks to his voluntary initiatives to maintain back-country huts.
Below July 2007
2016 Outdoor Award winners
Skills Active Supreme Award
The Skills Active Supreme Award recognises an individual, who has demonstrated outstanding leadership in the outdoor recreation and education sector.
Winner: John and Christine Furminger
Over 40 years, John and Christine have demonstrated consistent service to develop what are now some of the stand-out outdoor education programmes for young people in New Zealand. These programmes include Motutapu Outdoor Adventure Camp, Tihoi Adventure School and the Kahunui outdoor education campus at St Cuthbert’s College. At each of these they have mentored and developed young leaders, improved programmes and developed environmental efforts.
‘Didymo’ Dave Cade
NZRA Chief Executive Andrew Leslie said the awards provided an important acknowledgement for the people and organisations whose efforts markedly improved outdoor experiences in New Zealand.
“People like John and Christine Furminger, Dave Cade and Geoff Spearpoint contribute a massive amount of personal time and effort into creating better environmental outcomes and ensuring people have the necessary skills and facilities to enjoy the outdoors,” Mr Leslie said.
“This in turn leads to stronger communities, safer outdoor experiences and happier, healthier people. It is only fitting that these people who have devoted their lives to making the world a better place receive some portion the recognition they deserve.”
Organisations featured too, with this year’s Outstanding Event Award going to YMCA Auckland for its Family Camps, held at Camp Adair. The twice-yearly camps have run since 2014, and have found success in their targeted efforts to encourage competence and participation in the outdoors amongst families who otherwise would have found it difficult to access the outdoors together.
The Organisational Excellence Award for 2016 went to Te Araroa Trail for its sustainable, considered and collaborative approach to developing and maintaining a trail network that stretches the length of New Zealand. The New Zealand Outdoor Instructors Association was also highly commended in the Organisational Excellence category.
“It was heartening to see so many organisations nominated for their efforts to improve the way we experience the great outdoors,” Mr Leslie said.
“It is vital we continue to recognise the efforts of our outdoor organisations, paid workers and volunteers so they can find support for their efforts to improve outdoor experiences and foster the love of New Zealand’s great outdoors that is ingrained as a part of our culture.”
The Outdoor Awards were presented at an awards dinner held at the James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor during NZRA’s Outdoors Forum. Award sponsors included recreation consultancy Visitor Solutions, the New Zealand Alpine Club, the New Zealand Mountain Safety Council, and industry training organisation Skills Active Aotearoa.
Below is Dave at the Lake O fish trap – he should charge admission!