Eelco Boswijk Civic Awards 2019

Nominations for this year's Eelco Boswijk Civic Awards closed.

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Council presents awards every three years to recognise individuals and groups who are helping to make Nelson the special place that it is.

There are five awards to recognise individuals and groups who are helping us achieve our goals as a community, in line with our vision that:
Nelson is the Smart Little City: he tāone tōrire a Whakatū. Nelson is a vibrant place where we are deeply connected with, and committed to, our natural, social and cultural environment. Clever business and innovation help us to thrive. We enjoy living fulfilled lives in smart, sustainable communities.

The 2019 awards are again based on categories that are shaped by our Nelson 2060 strategy, which was created in partnership with the Nelson Community. These categories are intended to be inclusive and encourage nominations for individuals and groups that make a valuable contribution to Nelson City and its people.

The five award Categories are:

Community Hero

Encouraging those who both lead and take part in community activities to make Nelson an even better place. Community Heroes may be involved in business, voluntary work, community and environmental groups, education, sporting clubs or working with the disadvantaged.

Do you know someone who selflessly gives up their time to assist the community, whether they are involved in one organisation or across several?

Change maker

Recognising an individual who is taking an innovative approach to effecting change.

Do you know someone who is using their wisdom, experience and/or generosity to make a difference, encourage social change or alter the way the community thinks?


Recognising an individual in the business or education fields who has gone above and beyond to show leadership, provide opportunities for others and give back to the community, while educating and encouraging others to do the same.

Do you know someone who is leading by example in their efforts to make a positive difference for the people of Nelson and is educating and encouraging others to do the same?


Raising awareness of those who are caring for our natural environment through volunteer efforts. This could be through nurturing biodiversity, protecting flora or fauna, improving our freshwater, reducing carbon emissions or any initiative that enhances our wonderful natural environment.

Do you know a volunteer or organisation that is working towards making Nelson’s natural environment even better? Perhaps you know someone who is looking after our river, who has started a community garden or who is looking after our precious land.

Smart Little City

Recognising those smart thinkers who create new possibilities through the clever use of resources, technology or collaboration to get us closer to being a Smart Little City: he tāone tōrire a Whakatū.

Do you know someone who is helping us deliver our vision?

These Civic Awards are named after famous Nelsonian Eelco Boswijk in recognition of his generosity and contribution to our city.

In the 1960s, Eelco established the instantly popular Chez Eelco Café, a European inspired venue at the top of Trafalgar Street which became a centre of artistic and cultural life in the city.

Eelco is remembered as someone who really cared for the community and made a huge contribution in a great many ways and Nelson City Council is proud to honour his legacy through these awards.