We love winning stuff - especially when the nomination recognises our enviornmental and community efforts.
Of course, we wouldn't be able to do anything without the small army of tireless volunteers who help us with our projects and schemes. These awards are dedicated to all those unsung heroes.
In 2012 the Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track was awarded the Enviro Gold Award by Qualmark, recognising its high standards in environmental practices.
To earn tourism's top official environmental award we had to demonstrate excellence in energy efficiency, waste management and water conservation, with community activities and conservation initiatives also considered under Qualmark's environmental criteria. The Hump Ridge Track is only one of two Visitor Activities in Southland and Fiordland to have gained Enviro Gold.
The Enviro Award sits alongside the Qualmark Endorsement system for tourism businesses, with all Qualmark licence holders undergoing strict criteria assessments to ensure the quality of their service meets Qualmark's exacting standards.
"Every Qualmark licence holder is expected to adhere to basic Responsible Tourism practices", says Qualmark General Manager, Tim Keeling, "but to attain a Qualmark Enviro award, a business must show extra commitment to caring for their environment and their local community. For each step up the Enviro ladder, from Bronze to Silver then Gold, more is demanded of the business. The Enviro criteria is strict and the assessments rigorous and demanding."
The Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track was nominated as a finalist in the Small Business Leadership category for the 2012 Green Ribbon Awards. Honouring outstanding contributions to protecting New Zealand's environment, the Green Ribbon Awards are conferred by the Ministry for the Environment.
Environment Minister Amy Adams announced 35 finalists in 12 award categories that recognise individuals, businesses, communities and youth, as well as larger organisations.
"The awards reflect the broad range of environmental challenges that New Zealand faces and the actions being taken to address them," Ms Adams says.
"Tackling environmental issues is not easy. It takes initiative and dedication. "The awards pay homage to the incredible efforts being undertaken in homes, schools, communities and workplaces to address the environmental challenges we face."
For the 2012 awards, 284 nominations were received, which is an increase from last year.
Operations and Marketing Manager, Kate Hebblethwaite, was thrilled with the announcement:
"This nomination is a fantastic recognition of all the Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track team's hard work. Everything we do both on the track and in the office has sustainability at its core, and for our little corner of New Zealand to be acknowledged in this way is a tremendous achievement."