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A fitting award for a local hero2 min read

Dec 8, 2022 2 min

A fitting award for a local hero2 min read

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Ron Muave has been nominated as a finalist in the 2023 Kiwibank NZ Local Hero of the Year Awards for his outstanding and selfless work in the Onehunga and Oranga community.

Ron’s tireless work in the community has spanned almost one decade, and through his own non-profit organisation, Synergy Projects, based at the Oranga Community Centre, he has run many initiatives including: creating pathways to youth employment; facilitating new enterprises; setting up support groups including I-Care; operating a foodbank; and founding the Maungakiekie Youth Awards which recognise exceptional local youth.

His most recent role is managing the Onehunga Community Recycling Centre, a recycling resource recovery centre helping to change the behaviour around waste minimisation. The space takes an active role in diverting materials from going to landfill through upcycling and programmes, educating the community about recycling and recycling opportunities.

When contacted by the Onehunga Community News, Ron was surprised, as he was unaware of the nomination. “I had no idea I was nominated, until I received calls congratulating me. MP Priyanca Radhakrishnan also shared the announcement on her Facebook page. I was blown away that someone voted for me, and I was humbled and grateful for the recognition. Thank you to the person or people, I felt very blessed.”

Ron has had a massive village of support for his vision over the years, and he credits his parents who instilled the great values and life skills in him to serve others. He would like to thank his team at Synergy Projects Trust, Singalu and Mia Eli, current and past staff of Oranga Community Centre, Councillor Josephine Bartley, Maungakiekie Tāmaki Local Board, the Strategic Partnership (Auckland Council) team of Carole, Therese, Catalina and Petelo, children and families of Oranga/Onehunga, Tara and Rakau Tautoko, Localised NZ, Kai Collective and most importantly his wife, Donna, and his sons who have stood by him and supported all his endeavours.

In the future, Ron plans to continue facilitating and supporting local programmes to empower locals. He hopes to mentor and employ more community champions to ensure the Recycling Centre grows to be self-sustainable.


(Ron Muave and The Synergy Projects Trust Team, L-R  Jamal, Jayden, Donna, Premila, Rebecca, Amelia. Back row – Lily, Vikki. Front kneeling – Singalu Eli.)