Number 8 Network was pipped at the post at the Australia New Zealand Internet Awards last Thursday.
Tamahere Forum, run by journalist Philippa Stevenson, took out the community website category on the night.
Being beaten by Tamahere Forum is an absolute honour, as was making it to the finals in the first place. And it was quite a relief not to have to deliver a speech.
Tamahere Forum was created seven years ago following the fatal explosion and fire at the Icepak Coolstores as a way to communicate with the local residents.
It has turned into an inspiring community website and Philippa’s work and dedication deserves this recognition. When my daughter Iris Riddell and I talked about starting a similar website for Gordonton and surrounds, Philippa was enthusiastic in her support in every way, and still is. I often refer to Tamahere Forum as N8N’s big sister community website.
Motueka Online, run by David Armstrong, was the other New Zealand finalist, with two Australian websites in the running.
The awards, in their eighth year, were held in Auckland’s St Matthew-in-the-City Church. They recognise organisations, businesses and individuals who excel in delivering accessible, innovative, informative and secure resources to a diverse and wide community on the internet.
Winners in the other five categories included organisations developing creative ways to educate children, the blind, people with epilepsy, and emergency medical workers. (Click here for the full list of winners.)
Being at the awards was magical. It was humbling being among so many inspiring, passionate people. It also made me think how important journalism is, because with robust journalism we show people the strength and colours and personality – the resilience – of our communities.
Running a community website –when it’s just you – can some days be a lonely enterprise, and it makes a huge difference knowing that Philippa is only a phone call away in Tamahere.
But wait – here’s more – some bonus pics from the night, taken by the fabulous Zarleen Blakeley from .au Domain Administration Ltd.
And the winner – Tamahere Forum’s Philippa Stevenson with partner Leo Koppens.