Volunteering over 50 hours on patrol and another 80 hours of
event lifeguarding, coupled with a can-do attitude, has won a
Hamilton man the honour of Lifeguard of the Year.
Christiaan Maarhuis from Waihi Beach Surf Life Saving Club was
presented the award tonight at the 2016 Surf Life Saving New
Zealand Awards of Excellence at the Heritage Hotel in Auckland.
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. Last season, lifeguards saved over
1,500 people from life-threatening situations.
The NZ Lottery Grants Board Lifeguard of the Year award is the
pinnacle of surf lifesaving in New Zealand and highlights the
skill, experience and dedication of the lifeguards who give up
their time to make our beaches safer.
Christiaan has instructed many lifeguards throughout the season
including Inflatable Rescue Boat (IRB) and rescue board training
along with being head instructor at the Intermediate Lifeguard
School. He also took part in the National Lifeguard School where
lifeguards can gain their Advanced Lifeguard Award, the highest
award for surf lifesaving in New Zealand, and he was awarded 'top
Surf Life Saving New Zealand CEO Paul Dalton says Christiaan's
commitment and dedication to his club, region and surf lifesaving
in general is outstanding. "Despite working full time, with a young
family, he never hesitates to step up and lead by example. He is a
great role model to the young lifeguards that he is helping to
train and they will benefit greatly from his knowledge," he
Volunteers are the lifeblood of Surf Life Saving New Zealand and
this year's DHL Volunteer of the Year was awarded to Owen West from
Oreti Surf Life Saving Club.
Owen was initially a member of Rarangi Surf Life Saving Club
where he gained his Surf Lifeguard Award in 2001. He then moved to
Invercargill for work a few years ago where he became part of Oreti
and is now Club Captain. At the start of the 2014/15 season, the
club only had nine lifeguards registered. Taking on numerous roles,
Owen has played a big part in rebuilding the club which now has 29
Last season, he volunteered 37 patrol hours on top of supporting
10 new lifeguards through their Surf Lifeguard Award and assisting
members through other qualifications such as First Aid and IRB
Every year there are a number of significant rescues that take
place on our beaches and these rescues literally save lives. Every
month from November to April, clubs across the country enter their
most prominent rescues and they are judged against each other for
the title of BP Rescue of the Month. Those six monthly winners then
become finalists for BP Rescue of the Year.
This year, the title went to Bethells Beach Surf Life Saving
Club for an off-duty rescue of six swimmers. Just after 5pm on
February 21 lifeguards Dean Maddaford, Shane Dwyer, James Newland,
Andrew Carr and Robin Hammond were packing up when they noticed the
group caught in a rip around 300m off-shore. They quickly launched
an IRB and swam out with rescue tubes to help the swimmers who were
at the back of massive surf and were seriously close to drowning.
Their actions avoided a certain number of deaths in some very
DHL Instructor of the Year was presented to Lucy Scown from
Waihi Beach. The 18 year-old instructed two four-day lifeguard
camps with 34 candidates where she achieved a 100% success rate.
She has coached Junior Surf athletes on Sunday mornings for three
seasons and also instructs at the club's pool swim programme in
Katikati multiple times a week. The program has over 50
participants; mostly members of the club but the program is open to
anyone in the community.
DHL Innovation of the Year was awarded to Max Corboy from St
Kilda Surf Life Saving Club for beginning the discussion of moving
the Otago/Southland radio network from an analogue simplex network
over to a new digital repeater network. It came at a time when a
number of Search and Rescue (SAR) call-outs and pre-season
trainings had limited radio coverage and, in some cases, was next
to nothing in and around the cliffs and inlets south of St Clair.
Throughout the season, Max successfully installed a digital
repeater and the results have been very successful.
This year, a new award was added to recognise the outstanding
First Aid skills that lifeguards possess and reflect the support of
new partner Wood Group Training. The Wood Group Training First Aid
award was presented to Tairua Surf Life Saving Club for their
outstanding application of First Aid to an elderly patient who
collapsed as she was getting out of the surf on December 29,
Lifeguards, who were training nearby, responded immediately and
commenced CPR. They administered oxygen and used the defibrillator
to deliver shocks in between CPR until she began breathing again.
The stabilisation of the patient on the beach was well coordinated
and led to a successful outcome for the patient who could have died
if it wasn't for the quick response of the lifeguards.
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.
Rips are a common problem along our coastline and every year, Surf
Lifeguards save hundreds of swimmers from them. TV3 Story's
coverage helped highlight the dangers and educate the New Zealand
public about how to spot rips and the best way to get out of one
which is valuable safety information at the start of summer.
A number of sport awards were awarded alongside the lifesaving
For the fourth year in a row, Papamoa's Ross Merrett was named
Surf Official of the Year. Ross is a well-respected local, national
and international Surf Official. His workload over the past season
was immense as an official and facilitator as well as developing
and refining the event safety procedures for New Zealand.
Coach of the Year was awarded to Shane Radovanovich from
Paekakariki who was coach and sweep of two boat crews last season.
These crews ranged from the Under 23 Men to the Open Women and his
abilities meant he was able to tailor sessions to cover the wide
range of experience, capabilities and skills of all crews who went
on to have a successful season.
International Sports Performance of the Year was presented to
Lyall Bay's Samantha Lee for her efforts representing New Zealand
at last November's German Cup. Her results included a gold, and new
world record, in the 100m Rescue Medley along with another gold,
silver, two bronze and top female competitor at the event.
The Gudsell Trophy, awarded to the club with the highest number
of Surf Lifeguard Awards gained, went to Orewa Surf Life Saving
Club with 45 new lifeguards and the London Trophy, awarded to the
club with the highest number of Surf Lifeguard Awards gained as a
ratio of membership, went to Tolaga Bay Surf Life Saving Club with
seven qualified lifeguards.
2016 Award winners:
NZLGB Lifeguard of the Year: Christiaan Maarhuis, Waihi
DHL Volunteer of the Year: Owen West, Oreti
BP Rescue of the Year: Bethells Beach
Wood Group Training First Aid Award: Tairua
DHL Instructor of the Year: Lucy Scown, Waihi Beach
DHL Innovation of the Year: Max Corboy, St Kilda
Surf Official of the Year: Ross Merrett, Papamoa
Coach of the Year: Shane Radovanovich, Paekakariki
International Sports Performance: Samantha Lee, Lyall Bay
BP Media Award: TV3 Story
Gudsell Trophy: Orewa
London Trophy: Tolaga Bay
Michael Bassett-Foss, Waimarama
Jess Bennett, Ocean Beach Kiwi
Shane Bennett, Ocean Beach Kiwi
David Boersen, Pauanui
Tom Burgess, Orewa
Denys Carpenter, Pacific
Andrew Cochrane, Waihi Beach
Kate Dench, Palmerston North
Patrick Flynn, Sunset Beach
Phil Harman, Waimarama
Fraser Harvey, Karekare
Neil Hubbard, Pacific
Mark Jenkinson, Ocean Beach Kiwi
Mark Johnston, Orewa
Brent Lane, Karekare
Christiaan Maarhuis, Waihi Beach
Alec Mackay, Palmerston North
John McLarin, Karekare
Harley McLaughlin, Waimarama
Debbie Moodie, Westshore
Damian Munro, Mt Maunganui
Harold Pearse, Waimarama
Russell Philp, Fitzroy
Shaun Sayer, Foxton
Matt Wade, Karekare
Kubi Witten-Hannah, Karekare
Distinguished Service Award:
Seth McPhee, Brighton
Curly (Royce) Evans, Foxton
50 Year Badge:
George Imlach, Lyall Bay
Kent Jarman MNZM, Mt Maunganui
Gregory Larsen, Ocean Beach Kiwi
Phil Morgan, Whakatane
Valerie Morrison, Mairangi Bay
Robert Pitcairn, East End
Brian Quirk, Westshore
Patricia (Trish) Reid, Muriwai
Graeme Trevor, North Beach
John Williams, Opunake