4 November 2020
Two Toitu te Whenua Land Information New Zealand staff have been recognised for the significant contributions they have made to the communities they work with.
Wellingtonian Duane Wilkins, LINZ’s Senior Advisor Geospatial Capability, was awarded Te Tohu Ratonga Tūmatanui | New Zealand Public Service Medal for his commitment to increasing Māori communities’ geospatial information science knowledge.
Sarah Child, LINZ Senior Portfolio Manager from Christchurch, received the Te Tohu Amorangi a Te Kawa Mataaho | The Public Service Commissioner's Commendation for Frontline Excellence for her role in the regeneration of greater Christchurch following the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011.
LINZ Chief Executive and Secretary for Land Information Gaye Searancke says the work of Duane and Sarah exemplifies the aspirations of all LINZ staff.
“Duane and Sarah's connections with the communities they work alongside is the embodiment of our ongoing commitment to partner more closely with the New Zealanders we serve,”
Ms Searancke says. “Their dedication to building meaningful relationships with communities they serve has been a source of inspiration to many of us here at Toitu te Whenua and it’s wonderful to see their achievements celebrated by the Public Service Commission,” says Ms Searancke.
“We want to best deliver outcomes that benefit New Zealand, New Zealanders and the generations to come.”
Duane has worked over several years to empower Māori communities by providing access to digital geospatial information. This supports decision-making about their whenua and preserving historical knowledge before it is lost.
He is currently delivering free, online Ngā Poutama Matawhenua | Practical Māori GIS Mapping Wānanga to more than 350 participants.
Sarah was recognised for upholding the highest standards of kaitiakitanga in her work supporting the regeneration of greater Christchurch. She has been dedicated to the transformation of the red zone to the park-like area residents enjoy today.
Most recently, she project-managed the restoration of acclaimed New Zealand artist Bill Sutton’s former house, which was gifted to the city in September this year.
Sarah is a valued team member and is driven by her passion for serving the New Zealand public and her east Christchurch community.
Mr Duane Wilkins, Senior Advisor, Geospatial Capability Building, Land Information New Zealand
Duane has worked over several years to empower Māori communities by providing access to digital geospatial information to support decision-making about their lands, and to preserve historical knowledge before it is lost. Duane puts community needs at the centre of his work. He proactively identifies barriers that prevent communities accessing geospatial information tools and data, then develops engaging and practical solutions. His passion and professionalism have made a real difference for so many people and communities. This spirit of service came to the fore when Duane was seconded to the COVID-19 Operations Command Centre where he developed a support website and series of map-based tools to support the work of Māori and Pacific communities and NGOs in the response effort.
Empowering communities is always central to Duane’s work, which is what makes him such a valued and respected public servant and a deserving recipient of the New Zealand Public Service Medal.
Mrs Sarah Child, Senior Portfolio Manager – Land & Property, Land Information New Zealand
Sarah has upheld the highest standards of kaitiakitanga through her work to support the regeneration of greater Christchurch following the earthquakes of 2010/11. Ten years later, Sarah’s passion for the community is as strong as ever. Her commitment and leadership were reflected in her work managing the restoration of the historic Bill Sutton House to its former glory. It is now a community asset able to be used and enjoyed by the people of Christchurch. The restoration was the first project of its kind to be completed by Land Information New Zealand and Sarah rose to the challenge, including spending her time in weekends working with other volunteers to restore the Bill Sutton house garden.
Living through the earthquakes and seeing its impact on the community, Sarah’s passion for making a difference and contributing to the transformation of the city grew stronger. For her unwavering spirit of service and commitment to restoring a unique piece of history important to the community, Sarah is worthy of this commendation.
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