Eco-warrior up for award


Tamahere eco-warrior Leo Koppens is up for the Volunteer of the Year Award in this year’s Volunteer Excellence Awards.

Eco-warrior. Leo Koppens is up for Volunteer of the Year
Eco-warrior. Leo Koppens is up for Volunteer of the Year

Volunteering Waikato’s annual awards recognise the effort and impact on their communities of an army of people who give of their time freely and without payment.

Koppens, who began restoring the Tamahere Reserve four years ago, was nominated by his fellow members on the Tamahere Mangaone Restoration Trust.

Announcing the nomination, Volunteering Waikato said Koppens had “an amazing ability to suss out opportunities, negotiate terms that benefit the community and find alternative ways to do things.

“He has inspired many others to support the Tamahere Reserve and Allan Turner Walkway projects.”

Surprised by the announcement Koppens said he was very touched by the nomination.

“It’s a team effort, which I’m happy to have started,” he said. “It’s very humbling that my mates on the trust have thought to nominate me for this.”

The awards are in three categories – teams, youth and volunteer of the year – and range over teams such as Dress for Success’s volunteer stylists and KaiVolution workers who redistribute food that would otherwise go to waste, inspiring young people active in their communities, and individuals working in such diverse ways as Red Cross disaster relief, conservation, cancer patient support and op shop staffing.

The award winners will be announced at an evening ceremony on June 24.

2 thoughts on “Eco-warrior up for award

  • June 14, 2016 at 11:27 pm

    Brotherly love is not the driver for my recommendation. To put some things into perspective Woodworks have milled some 2500 pegs and he coerced out of me at no cost. They have gone to a good cause. I also hear he has done similar arm twisting to achieve such a great gully restoration in Mangaone, Allan Turner, the Eventide gully and most of all his own gully systems.
    I hope you get some recognition for having spent 3000 + hrs on gully restoration.

  • June 14, 2016 at 10:55 am

    Leo is a very worthy nominee. Our community has a wonderful new asset, thanks to Leo’s foresight, hard work and ability to inspire and co-ordinate others. Well done!


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