Chair Viv Napier receives "Tribute Award"

Each year Business Wairarapa Awards two TRIBUTES to those people that go above and beyond for their business community and contribution to Economic Development in Wairarapa, this year Viv Napier received this Award.

The first of our two tributes is awarded to someone who has played a pivotal, yet behind-the-scenes, role as the Chair of the Wairarapa Dark Sky Association. Her unwavering efforts have been instrumental in the accreditation of Wairarapa as an internationally recognised Dark Sky Reserve.

In January 2023, the night skies of South Wairarapa and Carterton districts received official certification as an International Dark Sky Reserve. With the Masterton District currently also in the process of accreditation, Wairarapa is on track to become the largest dark sky reserve in New Zealand. This achievement firmly establishes Wairarapa among the ranks of the 20 other International Dark Sky Reserves worldwide.

Having served as a Councillor, Deputy Mayor and Mayor of South Wairarapa, her extensive knowledge of local government procedures, her vast networks, and her strong leadership skills have played a significant role in achieving this accreditation. She has facilitated the progression of the process by supporting a local group of dedicated volunteers to execute an international project swiftly, and with genuine credibility.

The benefits of Dark Sky accreditation extend far beyond environmental considerations, by offering Wairarapa the opportunity to attract new businesses and visitors. This, in turn, encourages longer stays and increased spending, directly impacting Wairarapa's economic development, enhancing its tourism offerings, and fostering the growth of businesses and services across the entire region.

Her contribution to our business community also includes serving as director of a successful electric vehicle dealership and she continues to serve her community with great humility, as she did during her long and distinguished career in local government.

On behalf of the board of Business Wairarapa, our first tribute this evening goes to Viv Napier.