Surf Life Saving New Zealand names 2017 Awards of Excellence nominees

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Surf Life Saving members from around the country will gather in Auckland on September 23 to celebrate their successes at the national Awards of Excellence.

Over the 2016/17 patrol season, Surf Life Saving New Zealand welcomed 994 newly qualified lifeguards adding to the 3,988 lifeguards who refreshed their qualification for a total of 4,982 qualified lifeguards patrolling New Zealand's beaches.

Lifeguards carried out 612 rescues around the country and assisted another 1,184 swimmers back to safety. There were zero drownings between the flags.

Every year, national and local awards are given to Surf Life Saving members to officially recognise them for their hard work and dedication to saving lives and preventing drowning on New Zealand's beaches.

Most awards are nominated locally with winners from their regional Awards of Excellence ceremonies then becoming finalists for the national Awards of Excellence.

The 2017 Surf Life Saving New Zealand Awards of Excellence is taking place at the Heritage Hotel with the presentation of lifesaving, sport and service awards.

Some of the night's top awards include NZ Lottery Grants Board Lifeguard of the Year, DHL Volunteer of the Year and the BP Surf Rescue of the Year.

2017 Awards of Excellence finalists:

NZLGB Lifeguard of the Year
• Ollie Irwin, Bethells Beach
• Chaz Gibbons-Campbell, Whiritoa
• Danielle Shepherd, Mt Maunganui
• Connor Mitchell, Waikanae
• Sean Meagher, Westshore
• Michael Corkill, Opunake
• Nathan Berry, Levin-Waitarere
• Tom Denman, Sumner
• Chris Haig, St Clair

DHL Volunteer of the Year
• Dylan Turner, Red Beach
• Paul Treanor, Mt Maunganui
• Jenny Peploe, Pauanui
• Sonia Keepa, Wainui
• Jason Broome , Waimarama
• Darren James, Fitzroy
• Nick Mulcahy, Titahi Bay
• Kate Suter, Sumner
• James Coombes, St Clair

BP Rescue of the Year
• Far North
• Muriwai
• Kariaotahi
• Kaka Point
• Riversdale

DHL Innovation of the Year
• Muriwai - drone project
• Waimarama - new patrol tower
• New Plymouth Old Boys - restaurant
• Titahi Bay- weekly safety and beach conditions Facebook videos
• South Brighton- health and safety app

TSB Bank Coach of the Year
• Jason Pocock, Mairangi Bay
• John Bryant, Mt Maunganui
• Matt Sutton, Midway
• Greg Larsen, Ocean Beach Kiwi
• Joel Meuli, East End
• Walter Maxwell, Lyall bay
• Jonelle Quane, Sumner
• Chris Haig, St Clair

DHL Instructor of the Year
• Sam Turbott, Karekare
• Cameron Bishop, Whiritoa
• Garry King, Mt Maunganui
• John Minogue, Wainui
• Brian Quirk, Westshore
• Todd Cations-Velvin, Fitzroy
• Dwight Garton, Paekakariki
• Linda Poulsen, Spencer Park
• Peter Gibbons, St Kilda

TSB Bank Surf Official of the Year
• Roydon Woodcock, Mairangi Bay
• Greg Rieger, Mt Maunganui
• Alistair Thorpe, Waikanae
• Mike O'Malley, Pacific
• Brian Velvin, Fitzroy
• Glen Jones, Titahi Bay
• Derek Shanks, Sumner
• Michael Andrews, St Clair

For more information, please contact:

Lisa Smith, Media & Communications Manager
Phone 0276 488 823
Email or

Matt Warren, Senior Executive
Phone 027 475 7323