Upper Hutt Leader
Upper Hutt residents Billy Graham and Carolyn Press McKenzie will receive Kiwibank local heroes medals as part of the first New Zealand of the Year awards.
The medals will be presented at a function in Wellington next week and aim to recognise everyday New Zealanders who have made outstanding contributions to their community.
There are 10 recipients in the greater Wellington area.
Mr Graham, a renowned public speaker, also manages a fitness academy for at-risk male youth in Naenae.
His mission is the result of a long-held passion to help youth using the skills and talents he has acquired, and change the lives of young men in the Hutt Valley by teaching them standards, discipline and real-life skills through the Naenae Boxing Academy programme.
His contribution to the community has been significant from assisting at-risk youth and families, to graffiti removal and fostering local talent in areas including music and performing arts.
For the past nine years Mrs McKenzie and her husband Jim have run the HUHA animal sanctuary at Kaitoke and have made many sacrifices to keep it going.
The sanctuary houses more than 100 animals from various backgrounds. The McKenzies and their team of workers from the Community Max Scheme feed and look after these animals every day.
The sanctuary also functions as an educational facility where children are encouraged to have a more constructive and humane approach to interacting with animals.
HUHA organised the recent pumpkin contest held at Kaitoke Country Gardens.
- Upper Hutt Leader
Should the Rimutaka and Upper Hutt rugby clubs merge?Related story: (See story)