Local heroes awarded for their service to Palmerston North

Published on 09 November 2022

Group photo of 2022 Civic Awards recipients.

Four more outstanding community volunteers have received Civic Honour Awards for their extraordinary contributions to Palmerston North. Last night these four individuals were celebrated and presented with their awards by Mayor Grant Smith at Massey University's Refectory building.

Mayor Grant Smith congratulates the recipients on their longstanding service to our communities.

"The Civic Honour Awards are the highest recognition for voluntary service to our city and I'm pleased to award these to incredible individuals who have worked tirelessly for decades in their chosen pursuits. These four individuals have gone above and beyond the call of duty for Palmerston North and it’s great to be able to truly thank them for their dedication and commitment to making the City a better place.”

This year’s Civic Honour Award recipients are Rosemary Gear, Sheridan Hickey, Joe Hollander and Peter Wells.

Rosemary Gear is a crucial player in the Green Corridors group and has been instrumental to the long-term biodiversity and restoration projects along the Turitea Stream and around Summerhill and Aokautere. Rosemary has been active in everything from planning, recruiting, team building, liaising with affected parties, planting, site and tree maintenance, to trapping pests and weed control.

Sheridan Hickey, JP, has been a constant contributor to Palmy’s performing and community arts scene since the 1970s. She's made education, drama and speech her vocation, and has been combining her educational qualifications with governance and advocacy skills on behalf of performing arts and cultural activities both locally and nationally, ever since.

Since retiring from the Royal NZ Engineers Corps (RNZE) in 1991, Joe Hollander, JP, has held many hats and been a pioneer behind countless military related community-based events and initiatives. As a member of the Returned & Services Association since 1975, Joe was instrumental in re-establishing the Palmerston North RSA in 2016, following its enforced closure in 2012. He is also an organiser and MC for our City’s Anzac and Armistice Day commemorations.

Peter Wells is a passionate advocate for Manawatū mountain biking, helping transform Arapuke Forest Park into a wonderful outdoor adventure asset for Palmerston North. Thanks to Peter, more than $1.5 million has been raised to develop the park which sits right on the City’s back doorstep, allowing it to become a free-to-ride mecca for local and visiting mountain bikers of all ages.

The Mayor acknowledges all the award recipients’ time, energy and efforts they’ve put in for the good of our communities.

“This year’s awardees have achieved so much for the benefit of others and this ceremony is a small way that we as Council can acknowledge this and say thanks.”