New Zealand River Awards – Award Categories

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New Zealand River Awards – Award Categories

Supreme Award – Catchment with Most Progress Toward River Health

This award celebrates the catchment with the most progress toward river health. This award has been renamed in 2021 and the judging criteria broadened. The award is open for entries until 30 July.

Award criteria

Catchment values & objectives

The goals of the initiative to improve river health align with the values and objectives of iwi, community and policy direction.

There is evidence of stakeholder engagement, partnerships and collaboration.

The principles of Te Mana o te Wai have been considered and incorporated into the initiative.

Actions & collaboration
  • The actions that have been taken are collaborative and include a range of stakeholders and partners.
  • There been leadership that supports collaboration.
  • There has been significant and demonstrable progress towards objectives.
  • Innovative approaches and solutions have been adopted.
  • Mātauranga Māori been understood, considered and included in the initiative.
  • Te Mana o te Wai principles been incorporated into the initiative.
Evidence of change & outcomes
  • There is evidence of change and positive outcomes, including trends, analysis and discussion of data that demonstrates an improvement in catchment health relating to plans and actions.
  • There is evidence that illustrates change in land use, and implementation of land actions, or in-stream mitigations.
  • There is evidence that illustrates change in catchment health via water quality, water quantity, physical habitat, aquatic life or ecological processes, e.g. what is the current state and trend at relevant LAWA monitoring sites.

River Story Award (Sponsored by the Ministry for the Environment)

Recognises an individual or community that has made major efforts to improve freshwater health, with positive progress recorded. This award is open for submissions until 8 July. Any individual or group within Aotearoa can apply via this form, or by downloading the submission form and emailing it to [email protected]. The criteria are outlined below.

Award criteria

Relevance
  • What actions were undertaken to improve river health?
  • How have the actions that make up the project contributed to improved river health?
  • Has the project had, or is likely to have, a significant influence on land and water management practices?
  • Does the environmental achievement have wide application?
  • Has Mātauranga Māori played a role in this project?
  • Have iwi or hapū groups been engaged in the project, and if so, how has the project created opportunities for them to connect with the awa?
The story
  • The story should be novel or not widely recognized
  • The public are likely to find it inspiring
Objectives
  • Does the story/project have clear and significant objectives?
  • Has the environmental impact objective changed over time and, if so, in what way?
  • What are the biggest challenges to achieving the objective? (i.e. degree of difficulty).
Results
  • What differences in river health parameters have been recorded over time?
  • Are environmental outcomes regularly monitored? How is progress measured?
  • Has the environmental objective been achieved or exceeded – has there been significant progress?
  • Has or will the story/project result in intergenerational change?
Credibility
  • Is the story well-founded – is there sound financial, physical, scientific evidence to confirm the outcomes and make them readily applicable?
  • Does the activity illustrate a new approach that could make a significant contribution to freshwater management?

River Voice Award

This award is not open for submissions, but if you would like to alert the New Zealand Rivers Trust trustees to a prospective recipient, please email us at [email protected].

This award recognises an individual or group that has been an outstanding communicator about the issues facing New Zealand’s rivers and streams i.e. made a difference to river communications. The recipient of this award may be involved in research, business, leadership, voluntary work, community and environmental groups, education, or advocacy. 

The voice
  • The voice should demonstrate initiative and leadership
  • The public are likely to find it inspiring – what has this person done?
Objectives
  • Does the voice have clear and significant objectives?
  • Has the objective changed over time and, if so, in what way?
  • What are the biggest challenges to achieving the objective? (i.e. degree of difficulty).
Results & impact
  • How does the voice positively impact the community or the cause that they are working toward?
  • What difference is the voice making?
  • Has the environmental objective been achieved or exceeded – has there been significant progress?
Relevance
  • Has the voice had, or is likely to have, a significant influence on land and water management practices?
  • Does the environmental achievement have wide application?
Credibility
  • Is the voice well-founded – is there sound financial, physical, scientific evidence to confirm the outcomes and make them readily applicable?
  • Does the voice illustrate a new approach that could make a significant contribution to freshwater management?

New Zealand River Awards – Frequently asked questions

What are the benefits of entering the NZ River Awards?

Entering the NZ River Awards provides an opportunity to share positive stories that recognise and celebrate efforts to improve our freshwater health. Groups, individuals, businesses and communities who have received Awards previously say that they have increased recognition for their activities.

Profile and credibility has increased at local, regional and national level. This has helped when making funding applications. Data collection feeds into Council state of environment reporting and helps us all improve freshwater health.

Finally, entering the NZ River Awards also provides you with the opportunity to reflect on of your freshwater restoration and management achievements, as well as what still needs to be done.

Does it cost anything to enter?

There is no fee to enter the NZ River Awards.

What supporting material is needed?

You must provide evidence to support your responses to the Award criteria. All supporting material needs to be provided in electronic form, as this information is given to each judge. Please don’t send hard copies of documents.

Refer to the entry criteria provide further guidance www.cawthron.org.nz/about-us/new-zealand-river-awards.

How do I know which Award category to enter?

Catchment with Most Progress Toward River Health: Entries will reflect catchment-wide actions and efforts. Entries will reflect combined land users and community efforts, and will show how these are linked to in-stream monitoring results and outcomes. Improvements in catchment health will reflect actions taken by people on the land, as well as data-based evidence of changes in freshwater health.

River Story: Entries will be compelling tales of individuals and/or communities working to improve freshwater health. Stories need to have a newsworthy angle and, ideally, will uncover something not many people have heard about e.g. a small community doing great things, an unusual collaboration, new technology for freshwater management, or an unusual approach to protecting a stream or river.

If you are unsure which category to enter, please contact [email protected]

Who are the judges?

Entries are judged by an expert panel. Please refer to www.cawthron.org.nz/about-us/new-zealand-river-awards-judges.

Judges will absent themselves from judging any entry for which they have a conflict of interest. Judges may consult independent experts to verify the authenticity of applications at any stage of the process. The judges’ decision will be final. Cawthron New Zealand River Award entrants are not to contact members of the judging panel regarding their entry; this type of contact may result in disqualification.

What happens after I submit my entry?

Once your entry is submitted, an automated email will be sent to your nominated address, confirming receipt. You will be notified if your entry has been shortlisted, and at this stage we may ask for more information. In some cases we may also have a phone conversation with you to confirm details in your entry. Applications not shortlisted will also be notified.

What do I do if I have further questions?

If you’ve read the entry information and have more questions, contact [email protected] and we’ll respond.