Tamahere fire – news story of the year

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The Icepak coolstore fire at Tamahere in April 2008 was the biggest story in the Waikato last year, and coverage by the Waikato Times of the blaze that killed fireman Derek Lovell and injured several of his colleagues was named story of the year at last night’s Qantas Media Awards.

The Waikato Times was also named best daily newspaper in the country (in the category of circulation over 30,000) – a significant coup because it beat out much larger papers including the NZ Herald, Dominion Post and The Press.

Tamahere would, of course, have preferred not to have been the scene of a tragic event that drew such media attention. But having done so the least a community can expect is to see the significance of the events suitably reflected and acknowledged by the news media.

It is gratifying, in turn, to see some of that effort rewarded.

Congratulations to the Waikato Times and Tamahere’s thanks goes to the many others in the news media who have diligently reported this particular story in our community – the one we wish we’d never had.

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