NPDC is on the hunt for local legends

Local Featured news

NPDC is searching for another batch of unsung heroes who go that extra mile to make life better for others to be recognised with an NPDC Citizens’ Award.

Established in 1979, the annual awards recognise up to 12 local legends across a range of fields with previous recipients including those representing environmental causes, volunteer and charitable groups, rescue services, the arts and health.

New Plymouth District Mayor Neil Holdom says the awards are about celebrating the people who help make our place special.

“It’s always really humbling to meet the people who go above and beyond for our District and these awards are just one of the ways we can all say thank you for everything they do. If you know an everyday hero, someone who works tirelessly behind the scenes, or goes the extra mile to help out, no matter how big or small, let’s recognise them with an NPDC Local Legend Award,” says Mayor Holdom.

Conductive Education Taranaki founder Craig Nielsen was among 11 people recognised at the 2022 awards and says finding out he had been nominated was a pleasant surprise.

Craig and the team at Conductive Education Taranaki offer specialist support for children, young people living with disabilities and their whānau.

Driven by the belief that every child has the right to reach their full potential, conductive education can empower kids with disabilities to get there.

He is passionate about creating local opportunities for tāngata whaikaha (people with disabilities) to flourish, and to make Taranaki a more inclusive, empowered, supportive community. 

“I had no idea I had been nominated until I got an invite to the ceremony,” says Craig and is encouraging people to recognise others.

“Get amongst it. This this is a fabulous opportunity to recognise the drivers behind a healthy, connected community. Get nominating!”

This year’s ‘Local Legends’ will be named and presented with their awards at a ceremony in New Plymouth later this year.

Find more and make a nomination using the form available on the NPDC website or pick up a form at NPDC Civic Centre. Simply email the completed form to, or drop off at NPDC Civic Centre reception in Liardet Street, New Plymouth.  

Nominations close 12 July.    


Fast Facts

  • The NPDC Citizens’ Awards have been running annually since 1979.
  • Each year up to 12 residents are awarded from nominations received by locals.
  • Winners are presented with their awards at a ceremony in New Plymouth.
  • All New Zealand citizens are eligible for nomination.


Photo caption: 2022 Local Legend recipient and Conductive Education Taranaki founder, Craig Nielsen.