Rotorua Council picks up three national recreation awards

Rotorua District Council (RDC) has picked up three national awards at the New Zealand Recreation Association’s annual conference and awards event in Auckland last night (22 November).

Taking out the Ian Galloway Memorial Cup which recognises excellence and outstanding personal contribution to the wider parks industry was RDC’s parks operations manager Walter Miller.

Mr Miller has worked for the council for 40 years and his input into the city’s beautification has been described as “immense.” He has been responsible for planning Rotorua’s highly regarded flower bed displays throughout the city which have played a big part in Rotorua winning the New Zealand’s Best City title a record six times.

The award tops off an eventful year for the popular and respected Mr Miller, who recently won the Rotorua Employee of the Year award in the 2012 Westpac Rotorua Business Excellence Awards.

Also acknowledged at the NZ Recreation Association conference was RDC parks and recreation manager Garry Page, himself a recipient of the Ian Galloway Memorial Cup six years ago. Mr Page has been made a ‘fellow’ of the New Zealand Recreation Association in acknowledgement of his service to the organisation and its executive committee. He is the first to be accorded this title in the organisation’s 20 year history.

Rotorua District Council’s Youth Spaces project also picked up a ‘Highly Commended’ award in the Outstanding Project category. The council’s innovative Youth Spaces project has been driven by RDC youth coordinator Jill Campbell in partnership with local young people and other residents. The city’s Youth Spaces provide a range of facilities at suburban parks that cater specifically for local youth.

RDC mayor Kevin Winters said he was particularly proud of the three key council people involved in the awards and said they brought great credit on the council and on the Rotorua community at large.

“These awards represent the very best of New Zealand’s parks and recreation activities and as such are highly sought after. Rotorua District Council’s success this year is something all residents can feel very proud of.

“Walter Miller’s award is timely recognition of a quiet achiever who has played an exceptional role in planning, developing and implementing the city’s parks and gardens over a forty year period. As a result of his talents our city’s reserves and gardens are the envy of local authorities across New Zealand. He’s a humble man who always deflects any credit he receives on to his colleagues. His reputation extends across the country and is well-deserved.

“Garry Page’s acknowledgement is also great news and further endorsement of Rotorua’s reputation for some of the best parks, reserves and gardens in the country. Garry is highly regarded by this council as he is by his colleagues in councils throughout the country. He has made an outstanding contribution to the national organisation and deserves his elevation to the status of ‘fellow.’

I’m also delighted that our Youth Spaces Project has won another national award. Youth projects coordinator Jill Campbell has been the driver of this important programme for us and has worked tirelessly with youth from our district to make it all happen. The ‘Highly Commended Award in the Outstanding Project category is great news for the youth of our community,” said Mr Winters.

END

Photo caption (attached):
Rotorua District Council’s Walter Miller (right) receiving the New Zealand Recreation Associations’ Ian Galloway Memorial Cup from Paul Andrews (Wellington City Council’s Park & Recreation Manager.)
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More information:
Mayor Kevin Winters, Mayor of Rotorua, mobile 0275 589 947.

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