Three cheers for Tamahere!

All winners on the night: Iris, Pip and Annette
All winners on the night: Iris, Pip and Annette

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.

trophyThank you for all your support Tamahere, and congratulations. You rock and always will. (Can I borrow the trophy some days? I promise to polish it…)




But wait – here’s more – some bonus pics from the night, taken by the fabulous  Zarleen Blakeley from .au Domain Administration Ltd.


Annette studies the vaulted ceiling while Iris just looks lovely...
Annette studies the vaulted ceiling while Iris just looks lovely…
Motueka Online's David Armstrong, with his wonderful daughter who flew from Melbourne to be with her dad for the night.
Motueka Online’s David Armstrong, with his wonderful daughter Trudi who flew from Melbourne to be with her dad for the night.

And the winner – Tamahere Forum’s Philippa Stevenson with partner Leo Koppens.

Looking good, Tamahere!
Looking good, Tamahere!
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Number 8 Network - a community website for the rural areas northeast of Hamilton, NZ, is run by Gordonton journalist/editor Annette Taylor.

6 thoughts on “Three cheers for Tamahere!

  • August 31, 2015 at 4:08 pm

    Oh, thank you for your kind and generous words, N8N. It’s wonderful to share the community website interest with you, and it was great to share the awards evening with you and our friend David Armstrong of Motueka Online. It was, indeed, an inspiring evening hearing about the good use so many people are putting the internet to. As the man from the Bathurst community website so rightly said “everyone should go out and start a community website”. They are a fantastic resource for connecting communities of all descriptions. All power to N8N. I expect you will have your very own trophy next year!

  • September 1, 2015 at 11:31 am

    I’m proud to have worked with Pip and Annette , both excellent journalists. They’ve picked up the mantle large newspapers dropped in the dust. Many many congratulations.

    • September 1, 2015 at 11:53 am

      Thank you for those kind words, Roy. It is a pleasure knowing your good self and working with you at the Times in days gone by!

    • September 1, 2015 at 8:15 pm

      Thanks Roy, coming from a talented veteran like yourself it means a lot. Keep those wonderful obituaries coming at the Times, as long as they are not about any of us!

  • September 1, 2015 at 6:45 pm

    What stars. I call it pioneering and the way forward. Write well with truth and integrity and readers will come, each one of them is the real prize. Congratulations to TF and N8N.

  • September 7, 2015 at 8:44 pm

    Fantastic recognition of all your talents and dedication. And I must say, you all scrub up well…..looking most glam in the big city.



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