Safety, excellence, courage and respect are values that have led
surf lifeguards to save over 1,300 lives in the last season and
tonight, their efforts were officially recognised at a formal award
The 2015 Surf Life Saving New Zealand Awards of Excellence was
held at the Amora Hotel in Wellington and was hosted by TV
presenter Stephen McIvor.
Every year, awards are given to Surf Life Saving members to
officially recognise them for their hard work and dedication to
Surf Life Saving in New Zealand.
Some of the night's top awards included NZ Lottery Grants Board
Lifeguard of the Year, DHL Volunteer of the Year and the BP Surf
Rescue of the Year.
NZ Lottery Grants Board Lifeguard of the Year was awarded to
David Clarke from Palmerston North Surf Life Saving Club. The
Lifeguard of the Year award is the pinnacle of surf lifesaving and
Surf Life Saving New Zealand CEO Paul Dalton says this award
highlights the skill, experience and dedication of the men and
women who give up their time to make our beaches safer.
David demonstrates many characteristics that make him an
exemplary volunteer Surf Lifeguard. He is both Club and Patrol
Captain and has been involved in all aspects of the club's
activities. Over the past season, he completed over 93 hours of
voluntary patrol for Palmerston North SLSC as well as arranging
cover of patrols at Foxton and Riversdale Surf Life Saving Clubs.
The coverage at Riversdale was late in the season and yet they
managed to provide 35 active lifeguard hours.
With a passion for power craft, he also looks after the IRB
driver and crew training with an extensive training programme and
the majority of the club's active lifeguards have an IRB
Volunteers are the lifeblood of our organisation and this year's
DHL Volunteer of the Year was awarded to Paul Carlyon from Otaki
Surf Life Saving Club.
As chairman, he is involved in every aspect of Otaki Surf Club
and as Patrol Captain, he has actively patrolled at the weekends,
volunteering a total of 40 hours as well as acting as an instructor
at the National Lifeguard Schools in Fitzroy and Whiritoa.
He has also worked hard within his community, visiting the local
primary school to encourage surf safety and promote surf lifesaving
and he was instrumental in co-ordinating the BP IRB Click for your
Club campaign that saw Otaki win a brand new IRB. Paul's community
advocacy and work ethic shows his passion for Surf Life Saving.
Every year there are a number of significant rescues that take
place on our beaches and these rescues literally save lives. Clubs
across the country enter their most prominent rescue and they are
judged against each other.
Mr Dalton says it's very difficult to choose one rescue over
another as the actions of all the finalists have been incredibly
BP Rescue of the Year was awarded to Muriwai and Surf Life
Saving Northern Region for the daring rescue of a surfer stuck in
the caves near the Gannet Colony.
State Insurance Instructor of the Year was presented to Nick
Mulcahy from Titahi Bay SLSC. Nick has worked with every patrol
team at Titahi Bay to upskill members and improve the delivery of
lifeguarding services. He is Chief Instructor, Patrol Captain and
Patrol Co-ordinator, responsible for surf lifeguarding instruction,
patrolling and development at Titahi Bay. His positive influence is
evident through the club's increased patrol hours.
DHL Innovation of the Year was awarded to Foxton SLSC who set up
a remote camera to assist with patrolling operations. The camera,
which is manned and operated by patrol support members, has become
an important part of patrolling at Foxton Beach.
Also awarded tonight was the BP Media Award for best surf
lifesaving story. All organisations need media profile and none
more so than not for profit organisations like Surf Life Saving.
TVNZ Breakfast and Seven Sharp's combined coverage of the
off-season Muriwai rescue gave credit where credit was due to the
lifeguards involved. Their stories highlighted the efforts of the
lifeguards involved and the dangers that those lifeguards put
themselves in with each rescue.
A number of sport awards were awarded alongside the lifesaving
For the third year in a row, Papamoa's Ross Merrett has been
named Surf Official of the Year. Last season was a busy one for
Ross who officiated for over 400 hours at 14 different events; four
of these events were overseas.
Coach of the year was jointly awarded to Jason Pocock (Mairangi
Bay) and Scott Bartlett (Omanu). The coaching duo led the Black
Fins to the 2014 Lifesaving World Championships where they created
history for being the first surf lifesaving team in New Zealand to
win back to back world titles (2012/2014). Naturally, the team was
also presented with the State Insurance International Sports
The Gudsell Trophy, awarded to the club with the highest number
of Surf Lifeguard Awards gained, went to Mairangi Bay Surf Life
Saving Club and the London Trophy, awarded to the club with the
highest number of Surf Lifeguard Awards gained as a ratio of
membership, went to Ngati Porou Surf Life Saving Club.
2015 Award winners:
• NZLGB Lifeguard of the Year: David Clarke, Palmerston
• DHL Volunteer of the Year: Paul Carlyon, Otaki
• BP Rescue of the Year: Murwai & Northern Region
• State Insurance Instructor of the Year: Nick Mulcahy, Titahi
• DHL Innovation of the Year: Foxton SLSC
• DHL Surf Official of the Year: Ross Merrett, Papamoa
• DHL Coach of the Year: Scott Bartlett (Omanu) & Jason Pocock
• State Insurance International Sports Performance: NZ Black
• BP Media Award: TVNZ
• Gudsell Trophy: Mairangi Bay
• London Trophy: Ngati Porou
• Robin Bigwood, Otaki
• Neil Bognuda, Worser Bay
• Michael Clarke, Lyall Bay
• Joel Davies, St Clair
• Grant Edwards, Spencer Park
• Adam Fraser, Fitzroy
• Lauren Gibbs, Bethells Beach
• Ian Godfrey, Waipu Cove
• Janine Ibbs, Sunset Beach
• Tai Kahn, Whangarei Heads
• Greg Larsen, Ocean Beach Kiwi
• Carla Laughton, St Clair
• Chris McCullough, Red Beach
• Rohan McNaughton, South Brighton
• Arie Moore, Lyall Bay
• Leza Papps, Lyall Bay
• Ross Peters, Fitzroy
• Dean Pouwhare, Red Beach
• Dave Shanks, Orewa
• Danielle Shepherd, Mt Maunganui
• Glennys Smith, Sunset Beach
• Dean Thomas, Kotuku
Distinguished Service Award:
• Deborah Hutchings, Waikanae
50 Year Badge:
• Ross Fraser, Fitzroy
• Roddy Freeman , Titahi Bay
• Brian Grace, Titahi Bay
• Stuart Keven, Sunset Beach
• Paul Knight, United North Piha
• Ewan Lang, Titahi Bay
• John Power, Fitzroy
• Paul Ryan, Fitzroy & Lyall Bay
• Ross Doyle, Fitzroy
• Wayne Franich, Orewa
• Dave Price, North Beach
• Brent Warner, Mount Maunganui