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The Waitaki Multicultural Council won the supreme award at the TrustPower Oamaru community awards announced in Oamaru last night.
Waitaki Mayor Alex Familton, who was impressed with the high level of applications, said the council was typical of the "positive, helpful focus" of all groups.
The council received a certificate, trophy, $1500 and a six-month subscription to Fundraising in New Zealand magazine.
It will represent the district at the TrustPower national community awards in the Tasman district in March next year.
The council's aim to embrace New Zealand's ethnic heritage and culture while recognising and celebrating cultural diversity was a key factor in it winning the award.
The group had been very active in Oamaru, helping with activities outside its own interests, such as a clean-up day on Beach Rd and joining the Victorian heritage celebrations, TrustPower community relations representative Melanie Gray said.
Other winners were. -Heritage and environment: winner, Penguin and Coastal Habitat volunteers; runner-up, Oamaru Heritage Radio.
Health and wellbeing: winner, Oamaru Victim Support; runner-up, Age Concern Waitaki.
Arts and culture: Waitaki Multicultural Council.
Sport and leisure: winner, HALO Healthy Living Oamaru; runner-up, Duntroon Home and School.
Educational and child/youth development: Waiareka Valley Lions; runner-up, Astra Club of Waitaki Girls High School; commendation, Maheno Every Boy's Rally.