WYLAND FOUNDATION - Dive New Zealand magazine recognition award
One person can make a difference.
To have a dream and to see it materialize into a reality is one of life's joys.
In 2002 it occurred to the team at Dive New Zealand/ Dive Pacific magazine's that there were many people who have or who are unselfishly contributing huge amounts of time and effort for no real personal financial gain or glory. They are just passionate about what they are doing and the resulting benefits that will flow through to all divers and non divers alike plus the marine environment.
What was needed was an outstanding A ward that would reflect the beauty of the marine environment. An Award that a recipient would respect and be proud to receive and display.
We contacted the Wyland Foundation based in the USA. Wyland is one of the world's most accomplished marine artists. One of his greatest achievements is promoting the beauty of the marine environment by painting huge wall murals throughout the USA and various locations around the world. His goal of painting 100 walls was achived in 2008. The largest, at Long Beach USA, covers three acres and required 7,000 gallons (31,800 litres) of paint. By doing so he created an awareness of the fragile marine environment for many who would never venture under the ocean's surface. Wyland commented, 'If people see the beauty in nature they will work to preserve it'.
In New Zealand (
Auckland harbour's Viaduct basin) Wyland's 420m x 20m mural depicts humpback, blue, pilot and killer whales at play. Wyland was invited to New Zealand by the late Sir Peter Blake during the America Cup sailing competition in 1999/2000. Visit here for more on Wyland
This award is primarily aimed at recognising those individuals or a group of individuals that have unselfishly contributed huge amounts of their personal time for the benefit of all divers and the marine environment for no real personal financial gain or glory. They are the unsung heroes, doing what they feel will make a difference for the better, for this planet we call home.
- The award is presented to an individual or a group.
- The recipient holds the award for one year.
- The award is to stay within New Zealand.
2012 - JO 'FLOPPY' HALLIDAY
Dolphins, Whales, Marine Mammal Medic course, Whale Rescue Team.
At New Zealand Underwater's AGM dinner on 2 June at the Western Underwater Club rooms in New Lynn Auckland the Award was presented to Jo 'Floppy' Halliday. Jo was nominated by a past recipient of the Award, Ingrid Visser who runs Orca Research Trust. Jo has dedicated years of her life to working with the dolphins of the Bay of Islands and knows many by sight. She was introduced to the world of whales and dolphins by Steve Whitehouse, who pioneered whale rescues in the 1970's. Jo has spent countless hours at strandings and has taught many people the Marine Mammal Medic course on how to properly assist stranded whales and dolphins.
Her day time job is as a 'Dolphinologist' with Fullers Great Sights in the Bay of Islands. She loves her job of showing visitors her wonderful dolphins and says working with the dolphins is so enjoyable it keeps her very young at heart!
Jo is a member of the newly formed Whale Rescue Team which is ready to spring into action the moment a stranding occurs on the Northland coast.
She is a proof that: One person can make a difference!
A very proud, smiling Jo 'Floppy' Halliday with the Award.
2011 - ROSS MCDONALD
Project AWARE, Environmentalist.
Ross McDonald may not be a household name in Auckland but certainly is in the South Island, he is a very quite gentleman who can quite often go unnoticed to the majority but is always there when something is needed or something needs fixing or someone needs help developing their skills.
Ross started diving in the very early 1950's in the days when you had to make your own equipment and life underwater was always an adventure. This did not stop Ross from seeking more adventurous dive sites and was the first to enter the Riwaka Resurgence in times when a candle in an Agee jar sufficed for a torch and Waikoropupu Springs when it was surround by dairy farms and covered in weed.
He established the Nelson Underwater Club as a response to the local Police needing divers and then became a dive instructor for the New Zealand Underwater Association and later PADI. Ross has been at the leading edge of most changes in the diving world and can been seen at any event whether spearfishing competitions or environmental missions, he is a strong advocate of PADI Project AWARE as well as many local community based projects. 'One person can make a difference' and this statement epitomizes Ross McDonald, a true gentleman who has made a difference to so many divers and people in New Zealand, and is still diving at 80 years young.
The Wyland Award was created for people like Ross McDonald who is the 2011 winner. Congratulations Ross. - Eric Simmons, Nelson Underwater Club. (pictured above Ross McDonald (left) and Eric Simmons).
2010 - Dr INGRID VISSER
Orca Research Trust, Photographer, Writer, Researcher.
Ingrid is the seventh recipient to receive this Award and the first women to be so honoured. I'm not sure when I first met Ingrid but I'm guessing it may have been during the helicon days of the Ocean Conferences (1976 - 1990) which continued as the Oceans Underwater Photographic Competitions ( 1997- 2003). She was a regular entrant in this prestigious competition. I note she picked up third place in Aquatic Topside in 1999 and reinforced her photographic credentials in 2002 by winning the Aquatic Topside section and Best New Zealand Image with a stunning image of a dolphin breaking through the surface of a mirrored sea.
We all knew her as the Orca lady due to her dedicating her marine research to understand the Orca families that roam New Zealand's coastline.
She established The Orca Project in the early 1990's. Now know at the Orca Research Trust . She has become a world recognized authority on orca behavior especially the orca in New Zealand. She has filmed underwater and topside behavior that has never been recorded before. Her research officially began in 1992 when she embarked on her life-long dream to study the orca. Since then she has worked with orca not only around New Zealand, but also in the waters of Antarctica, Argentina and Papua New Guinea.
Whilst travelling aboard eco-tourism ships or on private expeditions, she has also contributed to orca research projects in the Kamchatka region of Russia; Washington, Alaska and British Colombia off North America as well as Iceland (where she worked with the team releasing 'Keiko' the star of the Free Willy movies. Her work has appeared in various magazines and on numerous documentaries made for TV. She has written two children's books as well as an autobiography 'Swimming with Orca' which was a finalist in the 2005 NZ Montana Book Awards.
Dr Visser's research does not receive Government or University funding, but is run through the non-profit, Orca Research Trust, a New Zealand registered Charity.
Dedicated to protecting the orca, Dr Visser believes in making science 'consumable' for the general public and as such she is often seen out in the community giving talks about these incredible apex predators. She works relentlessly monitoring the moment of orca families around New Zealand and has successfully organized saving stranded orca. Due to her spending thousands of hours studying and photographing New Zealand orca she can recognize each orca by their individual markings and has a name for each. A remarkable women following her dream and in doing so she has contributed significantly to our understanding and appreciation of orca.
If you see orca give Ingrid a call 0800 SEE ORCA
2009 - Dr Roger Grace
Environmentalist, Photographer, Writer, Researcher.
Readers will know that Roger is a regular contributor to this magazine. His excellent articles have increased our understanding of marine life and his photography has splashed vibrant colour throughout the magazine's pages for many years.
Reading through his CV is very impressive. He has achieved an enormous amount during his 39 years as a practising marine biology researcher. He has made us aware of the need to value and to support marine conservation initiatives. He is a very strong advocate for establishing marine reserves as part of the complex issues that need to be addressed to ensure the future health of the world's vast marine ecosystem.
Following are just a few of the projects he has been involved with:
Over 30 years of reef fish and crayfish monitoring in protected and non-protected areas.
Invited photographer and sometimes scientist on many international Greenpeace expeditions, since 1990.
Study of impacts on benthos of channel deepening and widening projects at Port of Tauranga, and effects of dumping sediment offshore.
Monitoring biological impacts of sand extraction in the Kaipara Harbour and Northland east coast.
Monitoring the effects of dredge spoil dumping by Ports of Auckland Ltd on rocky reef life in the Hauraki Gulf.
New Caledonia: With a team from Conservation International a survey of coral reef and lagoon fishes.
Guide to the Kermadec Islands for Jacques Cousteau on the Calypso.
Guide for National Geographic underwater photographer David Doubilet on two expeditions to New Zealand.
Habitat Mapping of Tawharanui marine park, Mimiwhangata marine park, Doubtless Bay, Motukaroro marine reserve, Whangarei to name a few.
Presentations of evidence at Regional Council and Environment Court hearings.
Approximately 245 magazine articles with pictures, mostly on marine issues with a conservation theme.
He has been recognized before for his environmental work:
It was indeed a pleasure to publicly recognize Roger amongst the diving fraternity for the work and time he has devoted to increasing our understanding of marine life and conservation issues.
Queens Service Medal for Public Service, 2005.
Mobil Environmental Award 1974.
I also wish to thank Denis and Trish Adams of the Dolphin Underwater and Adventure Club for their organisation in getting Roger along to the Club's dinner as part of the club's activities for hosting this years' New Zealand Underwater Association AGM.
Also thanks to the Dolphin Underwater and Adventure Club for allowing us to present the Award during the dinner -most appreciated. - Dave Moran.
More information on the Wyland Foundation here:
2008 - MIKE PERCY
Environmentalist and Underwater Researcher, Seahorse 2000 project, Maui's Dolphin
(Pictured left Mike Percy being presented the award by Dive New Zealand magazine's CEO Dave Moran)
The Wyland Philosophy that one person can make a difference whilst working unheralded, and for no personal monetary gain or personal rewards, is a philosophy that makes a strong statement in itself and can really only apply to a very special person who is dedicated and passionate about a particular cause.
Mike Percy instigated the Western Underwater Research Team (WURT) in June 1993 as a sub division within the main club for members wanting to become involved in a marine environmental group. WURT is a voluntary and non-profit making group with the members giving freely of their own time, skills and equipment. Coming up to 15 years further down the track, this group is still going strongly thanks to the efforts Mike has personally put in to keep members informed of the many projects that they have become involved with as well as applying for grants and funding to support these projects. Members in WURT have come and gone over the years, as they do, however Mike has recruited new, interested divers to take their place and ensure that they group's valuable work has carried on. At times he has almost becomea one-man band, but this has never deterred him and he still maintains the drive and determination needed to maintain his passion for the marine environment and the protection of it.
Dave Moran from Dive New Zealand asked Paul Oxton to organise the presentation of the Wyland Award for this year within the Western Underwater Dive Club clubrooms.
This year's recipient of the award certainly meets the criteria and has done so, for the past 15 years. The work this person has put into promoting the environment and in particular our seas and foreshores, is really quite remarkable and an outstanding achievement. Where walls get thrown up in front of his cause his determination and passion make it possible for him to either find a way around them or knock them down where many others would simply have thrown their arms in the air and given it away.
On the way to achieving all of this, he has put this club's name in front of not only the New Zealand Dive Industry but also within Australia and the UK as well.
Survey dives monitoring the changes in specific local dive sites, beach cleanups, trade show displays, numerous local community displays, Seahorse Survey 2000 - these things are still all happening thanks to this one man. The hours that he puts into these projects makes one wonder how he also has the time to hold down a full time job!
I believe you would be hard pressed to find a more deserving recipient within the New Zealand diving fraternity.
2006/7 - ROSS GUY
Marine Wildlife Conservation and Rescue. Project Jonah
(Pictured left is 2005 recipient Wade Doak presenting the award posthumously to Ross Guy's mum Nell Guy)
The award's main statement is:
One person can make a difference
For those of you who read the Dive New Zealand/ Dive Pacific magazine's farewell to Ross Guy in the April/May issue 99, 2007, page 74 you will understand why we have posthumously awarded Ross this award.
Briefly- he was one of New Zealand's greatest conservationists. He established Project Jonah in the early 1970's, he produced and ran training programmes with his Marine Wildlife Conservation & Rescue manuals which he had developed in association with Department of Conservation and with support by the Body Shop.
He had an unbendable passion about protecting whales and dolphins and through his lectures and numerous articles he endeavoured to bring an awareness of the marine environment's declining health to the people of the world.
He once said before it became fashionable:
Everything is intelligently self-regulating and acting
coherently and wisely except humankind.
The time has clearly come for us to take care of the sea"
He was a big part of the beginning of the conservation movement in New Zealand.
His passion for the marine environment never faltered.
He did make a difference.
2005/6 - WADE DOAK
The advocate for marine conservation in New Zealand
(Pictured left Wade Doak being presented the award from the 2004 recipient Dr Bill Ballantine on the right. Jan Doak is in the centre)
The following is an extract from the speech by the awards second recipient Dr. Bill Ballantine.
'I am absolutely delighted to be asked to present this award to Wade Doak.
Many people have had a part in pushing back the frontiers of diving, increasing our knowledge of the sea and helping the general public to appreciate the richness and complexity of marine life, but no one in New Zealand has done so much as Wade Doak.
I first met Wade in the 1960's, but by then he was already a major player in the diving world, as a pioneer of techniques, as a photographer, as an explorer of new sites, as the editor of his Dive Magazine and as a champion of the Poor Knights.
He came on the very first course held at the Leigh Marine Laboratory, along with Kelly Tarlton, Jeff Perch and a dozen others. The first session wasn't going very well until Wade rushed up grabbed the chalk out of my hand and started to organise things. Well, he was a schoolteacher!
He was way ahead of his time. In the 1970's we were trying to make detailed New Zealand wide distribution maps of fish. His book on fishes was a world leader - not a catch and cook them book or just an identification guide, it was how to watch and learn - like bird watching.
I am amazed that anyone so enthusiastic as Wade can be so patient, keeping going in the face of so much ignorance, so much prejudice. It took 14 years to get a half -pi marine reserve at the Knights and another 17 years to make it a real one.
I am amazed that he can do so many things so well. I teased Wade into diving in a mangrove forest. Six months later there was a half hour TV film!Then there are the books (20 titles) articles, photos, his web site and hundreds of talks etc.
I wish to ask Jan to join her husband on the podium as she is Wade's partner in every sense.
Thank you, both. It is my duty and pleasure to present this award to you - you deserve it'
This prestigious award was presented during the dinner of the South Pacific Underwater Medicine Society (SPUMS) Annual Scientific Meeting held during April at Oceans Resort, Tutukaka New Zealand
2004 - DR BILL BALLANTINE
The visionary for marine reserves
(Pictured left 2003 recipient Steve Weidmann presenting the award to Bill Ballantine)
Bill has long been regarded in New Zealand as the Father of Marine Reserves having been promoting the concept for over 40 years.
Originally he came from England to take up a lecturing position at Auckland University. He soon shifted to the Marine Laboratory at Leigh and was its resident biologist and later its director during the period from 1965 to 1985.
He was instrumental in establishing New Zealand's first Marine Reserve at Goat Island in 1975. There are now 19 reserves spread around the coastline. He was recognised for his efforts in the protection of the marine environment when the United Nations awarded him the prestigious Goldman Environmental prize in 1996. Bill acknowledges the inspiration he received from Professors Val Chapman and John Morton of Auckland University for lighting his fire of passion for protecting the marine environment. Even in retirement he still passionately promotes his long held vision to have a network of marine reserves covering at least 10 per cent of New Zealand's territorial waters.
Next time you are enjoying the spectacular marine life in a marine reserve, spare a thought for the man who worked tirelessly to make reserves an acceptable reality.
Congratulations Bill and thanks from all of those who now see untouched marine life going about its own evolutionary development without man interfering.
Many future generations' will continual to marvel at the marine wonderlands you have helped to protect, we salute you!
Thanks to the Dolphin Underwater Club for allowing this prestigious award to be presented at their 50th Anniversary celebrations.
2003 - STEVE WEIDMANN
SS Tioma Artificial Reef
(Pictured left Steve Weidmann, being presented the award by Dive New Zealand magazine CEO Dave Moran)
Steve was the instigator and driving force behind the Taioma Reef Society Inc who successfully sunk the 33meters (108 ft) tug, SS Taioma in 27 metres at Motiti Island off the city of Tauranga on the east coast of New Zealand's North Island on 19 March 2000.
The tug was the centrepiece of a small maritime village that was being dismantled. Rather than see the once proud tug being turned into razor blades Steve and his team started the long battle to have her sunk as an artificial reef for divers to study and enjoy.
And it was a battle! There were the obvious physical aspects of the project such as cleaning the interior of the tug so that it was environmentaly safe to sink. Transporting it to the water's edge on a 128-wheel trailer down an expressway which had overhead pedestrian crossings in the middle of the night - the list of challenges was endless.
Steve and his team could handle what they could physically see, but things you could not put a jack or spanner to such as the forest of paper work to achieve the necessary permits was soul destroying. Many a time the battlefront seemed insurmountable. Steve had the bit between his teeth, this project was not going to be sunk by paper - salt water was the only option! Funding the project was another major challenge!
The remarkable thing about this huge effort was that Steve and the other members of the society had no financial motive. They just wanted to give the tug a peaceful resting-place so that generations of divers could enjoy the tug's beauty and the marine life that would smothered her with colourful kisses.
We wish to thanks the Oceans Society for allowing the award to be presented at their annual photographic awards dinner.
More information here: