• Media release

08 May 2024

Community Service Award Abi James 1

Passionate volunteer Abi James has been honoured with a Community Service Award.

Ms James has dedicated many hours to creating events for the Te Anau and Fiordland community. Despite being in the area for a short time, her tireless dedication has made an impact that will be felt for years to come.

She was presented with a Southland District Council/Fiordland Community Board Community Service Award by Southland District Mayor Rob Scott at Ivon Wilson Park during one of her Fiordland Outdoor Playgroups on Monday 6 May.

Ms James has organised and facilitated a multitude of different events to the benefit of not only the tamariki and rangatahi of Fiordland, but also the wider community.

Some of the events she has facilitated include the creation of the Fiordland Outdoor Playgroup, which promotes unstructured free play for families and young children.

Thanks to her generosity of time and skills the Fiordland Community Fun Day has grown into a regular Te Anau event.

Ms James facilitated the Pukapuka party, focusing on getting children involved in fun games and activities, and the Kite and Kēmu event in 2023, where kites were made and traditional Māori games were played to celebrate Matariki.

She supported Te Anau’s Story Walk open day by volunteering her time to share equipment for the event.

Ms James ensures the local environment benefits too from her initiatives. Participating whānau of Fiordland Outdoor Playgroup make a small donation which is then given to local environmental projects. In all the events and activities Ms James has been involved in, she has done everything with heart and continues to shape the minds of Fiordland’s tamariki.

“Fiordland’s a better place for the countless hours of time and energy that Abi has put into this place,” Mayor Scott said.


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