Minister of Health Volunteer Awards

The Minister of Health Volunteer Awards are an opportunity to recognise the thousands of unsung heroes who support New Zealand’s health and disability services.

Minister of Health Chris Hipkins announces the Minister of Health Volunteer Awards for 2020.

[Title: Announcing the health volunteer award recipients] [Hon. Chris Hipkins - Minister of Health to camera]

Kia ora koutou katoa

I am truly delighted to announce the Overall Health Volunteer of the Year Award for 2020 and to have the opportunity to say thank you to all of the recipients of this year’s Minister of Health Volunteer Awards.

This is the first time since 2013 when these Awards began that we’ve needed to acknowledge our worthy recipients remotely. And of course that’s due to the impact of COVID-19.

It doesn’t mean the work of our volunteers is any less valued – in fact quite the opposite. Now more than ever we need to look for opportunities to help and to look after each other. That’s the nature of volunteering and it gives me great pleasure to recognise the volunteering work that goes on every day in our hospitals and across our communities.

Volunteers demonstrate how individual commitment and dedication can impact positively on others and make people’s lives that much better. That’s definitely worth celebrating.

Before I announce the Overall Health Volunteer of the Year for 2020, I’d like to begin by thanking the judges - Dr Nigel Millar, Chief Medical Officer at Southern District Health Board; Te Puea Winiata, CEO of Turuki Health Centre; Associate Professor Honourable Luamanuvao Dame Winnie Laban; Adri Isbister, Deputy Director-General Disability at the Ministry of Health, and Michelle Kitney, Chief Executive, Volunteering New Zealand. They had a difficult job selecting this year’s recipients from all of the impressive nominations received.

The 2020 Health Volunteer of the Year is described as being deeply respected for her unconditional willingness and generosity of wairua, her aroha for being able to serve and be of service, and her focus on whānau and communities in isolated rural areas.

This award goes to Patricia Patu Sigley, of Russell, who also took out the Outstanding Māori Health Volunteer Award.

[Photos of Patricia Patu Sigley volunteering in various roles over the years]

Even with nursing as her day job, Patu has always been prepared to go further to assist in times of need or an emergency. She was a volunteer in the ambulance service; she set up health clinics. She retired from nursing five years ago and has continued to take her immense drive and passion for nursing into her communities, through clinics, helping with COVID-19 testing flu injections, and just generally being available for people.

Patu, thank you and congratulations.

And congratulations to all Award recipients and nominees. There are many dedicated volunteers in our hospitals and in our communities giving many hours of their time and making a big difference to the health and wellbeing of other New Zealanders. I would like to say thank you too for all of your contributions and everything you are doing.

[Slide show of images acknowledging each award winner and nominee]

  • Health Care Provider Service Team Awards
    • Outstanding Achievement – SuperGrans Mentoring Manawatu
    • Runners-up – Companion Volunteers, Auckland City Hospital; Knitters, Sewers and Quilters Team; Wellington Hospitals Foundation; Sammy Milne, The Upstairs Gallery and its community members
  • Health Care Provider Service Individual Awards
    • Outstanding Achievement – Peter Taylor
    • Runners-up – Dr Jennie Lewis; Peter Waskowsky
  • Community or NGO Health Service Team Awards  
    • Outstanding Achievement – Mentors of Wāhine Connect
    • Runners-up – Hutt Buddies, Library Talking Book Despatch Volunteers, Taranaki Retreat Peer Support Team
  • Community or NGO Health Service Individual Awards
    • Outstanding Achievement – Peter Burland
    • Runners-up – Claire Gyde, Meera Patel, Warrick Jacobson
  • Māori Health Volunteer Award
    • Outstanding Achievement – Patricia (Patu) Sigley
    • Runner-up – Piki Thomas
  • Pacific Health Volunteer Award
    • Outstanding Achievement – Coco Tuffery
  • Youth Health Volunteer Team Award
    • Outstanding Achievement – Student Volunteer Army COVID-19 Response Team
  • Youth Health Volunteer Individual Award
    • Outstanding Achievement – Dawn Hangartner
  • Long Service Awards
    • Outstanding Achievement – Lou Rigg
    • Runners-up – Henny Vervaat, Shona McLean

To find out more about the 2020 Minister of Health Volunteer Award recipients, and be inspired by the work they are doing, visit the Volunteer Awards website and keep an eye out for the celebratory booklet.

Thanks very much.

This year's recipients are:

  • Health Volunteer of the Year 
    • Outstanding Achievement – Patricia (Patu) Sigley
  • Health Care Provider Service Team Awards
    • Outstanding Achievement – SuperGrans Mentoring Manawatu
    • Runners-up – Companion Volunteers, Auckland City Hospital; Knitters, Sewers and Quilters Team; Wellington Hospitals Foundation; Sammy Milne, The Upstairs Gallery and its community members
  • Health Care Provider Service Individual Awards
    • Outstanding Achievement – Peter Taylor
    • Runners-up – Dr Jennie Lewis; Peter Waskowsky
  • Community or NGO Health Service Team Awards  
    • Outstanding Achievement – Mentors of Wāhine Connect
    • Runners-up – Hutt Buddies, Library Talking Book Despatch Volunteers, Taranaki Retreat Peer Support Team
  • Community or NGO Health Service Individual Awards
    • Outstanding Achievement – Peter Burland
    • Runners-up – Claire Gyde, Meera Patel, Warrick Jacobson
  • Māori Health Volunteer Award
    • Outstanding Achievement – Patricia (Patu) Sigley
    • Runner-up – Piki Thomas
  • Pacific Health Volunteer Award
    • Outstanding Achievement – Coco Tuffery
  • Youth Health Volunteer Team Award
    • Outstanding Achievement – Student Volunteer Army COVID-19 Response Team
  • Youth Health Volunteer Individual Award
    • Outstanding Achievement – Dawn Hangartner
  • Long Service Awards
    • Outstanding Achievement – Lou Rigg
    • Runners-up – Henny Vervaart, Shona McLean

Find out more about the 2020 recipients and runners up: 2020 Volunteer Awards recipients.

Download the awards booklet

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