friendship force

New Zealand

Kiwi Logo

FFI Awards

The following are Awards made by Friendship Force International to members and clubs in New Zealand to recognise excellence and leadership towards the organisation.  

Wayne Smith Medal

In 2010 Friendship Force International announced the Wayne Smith Medal, a special award to be given by clubs to recognise those who show exceptional leadership over many years of service to their clubs, and towards promoting the overall Friendship Force mission.  This award is to honour Wayne Smith, who was the founder and driver of the organisation in the early years.

Debbie Lattey, Friendship Force of Kapiti Coast, New Zealand

Debbie and her husband Wilson joined Friendship Force Kapiti Coast in 2006, and have been active members of the club ever since. They have hosted numerous times and been on a number of outbound journeys around the world.

Debbie has held positions of Club Secretary and President, as well as being a NZ Field Rep for three years and Field Rep Coordinator for a further four years. Her focus now is on working with the global membership team to build global membership in New Zealand, and in October 2022 she was appointed to the FFI staff as the Regional Support Manager for New Zealand.

The Wayne Smith Medal was presented by the New Zealand clubs in recognition of her dedication and enthusiastic contribution to her club and the Friendship Force in New Zealand.

Heather Ponder, The Friendship Force of Christchurch, New Zealand

Heather and her husband John joined Friendship Force Christchurch in 2004 and became actively involved in all aspects of the club, with Heather holding a number of positions. These included 8 outward journeys, at least 2 of them as coordinator; host coordinator for 24 inward journeys; Vice-President of FF Christchurch in 2010 and President from 2011-2013. Heather organised the club's 25th birthday celebrations in 2009 and took responsibility for a membership drive over three years. She attended a number of NZ conferences/gatherings and was on the organising commitee for the 2017 conference held in Christchurch.

Heather was also the South Island Field Rep from 2016 to 2020, and FR Coordinator Debbie Lattey congratulated her on the sterling work she did in her five years in the role, and heartly endorsed the awarding of this medal.

Heather still supports Friendship Force in New Zealand in any way she can, including continuing to help organise South Island tours. She is very deserving of a Wayne Smith Medal, which was presented by her club on 21 November 2021.

June Kenworthy: The Friendship Force of Christchurch, New Zealand

June Kenworthy joined Friendship Force, Christchurch in 1988 and was elected to the club Board in 1991. She served continuously on the Board until 1998 during which time she was elected Vice President in 1994 and was President for 2 years in 1995 and 1996. She was made an Honorary Life Member of the club in 2001. 

June was appointed by Friendship Force International as New Zealand’s first ever Field Rep. in 1998, a position, which at that time, was an advisory one to all clubs in New Zealand.

June (along with her husband Cyril) home hosted for 22 inward journeys, been on the organising committee for 5 of these and was Journey Coordinator for 3. She has been on 5 outward journeys and was a Journey Coordinator to the USA in 1994.

June still takes an active interest in Friendship Force club and national matters exemplified by her involvement in the organisation of the national conference in Christchurch in 2017.

June was an active member of her tramping club from which she gained many new members for Friendship Force. Nowadays she is very involved in the organizing of social activities for the retirement village in which she resides.

Robert Roderick (Eric) Scott: The Friendship Force of Christchurch, New Zealand

Eric Scott joined Friendship Force, Christchurch in 2004, became a club Board member in 2007 and has served continuously on the Board to the present day. He was elected Vice President for 2011 and 2012 following on to be club President in 2013 and 2014. During all this time he has been editor and compiler of the club newsletter for the last 11 years.

In both 2011 and 2016 he received the club’s Wings of Seattle Award which is given each year by the club’s President to the member who has done most to further Friendship Force ideals.

At New Zealand level he has been National FF Webmaster since 2006 finally resigning in 2016.

Eric (along with his wife Margaret) has home hosted for 24 inward journeys and also has been a Journey Coordinator. As a couple Eric and Margaret have been on many outward journeys and jointly were Journey Coordinators in 2010 to USA and Europe.

Eric’s service to the wider community makes one wonder how he ever had time for Friendship Force. Most notably he was on the Rangi Ruru Girls’ School Board of Governors for 9 years, a stalwart member of his church being a parish councillor, elder, treasurer and youth group leader and a member of many professional organizations.  

Colin Ridge: The Friendship Force of Taupo, New Zealand

Colin joined Taupo Friendship Force in 2003, and was Secretary for 8 years and President in 2012.  He has been ED for 10 journeys, both inbound and outbound, and he and Janet have hosted some 15 times.  Colin was a co-organiser of the successful Taupo Membership Drive of 2011 which resulted in that club winning the Outstanding Club of the Year Award in 2012.  Colin continues to serve on the Board of Taupo Friendship Force.

This award also recognises Colin’s outstanding contribution to the Friendship Force of New Zealand.  He was appointed NZ E-Flyer Coordinator in 2009, and has held that role ever since; he was the Field Rep for the northern NI from 2013-16; and he has served as NZ Field Rep Coordinator since 2012.  Colin led a pioneer exchange to the Philippines in 2014, which lead to the establishment of the Friendship Force of Baguio and the Friendship Force of Naga, Philippines.  Colin was Deputy Chair of the 37th Friendship Force World Conference in Auckland in 2014, at which he was presented with the FFI Understand Award.   

Throughout his long service with the Friendship Force Colin has been wonderfully supported by his wife Janet.

Jocelyn Terry: The Friendship Force of South Taranaki

Jocelyn Terry has been an active, supportive member of the Friendship Force of SouthTaranaki for the past twenty six years. During that time she has been an integral part of the club, serving in many roles and taking a full part in all club activities. She has had eighteen years as a Board member and has edited and produced the Bulletin, had responsibility for membership, welcoming many new members to the club, as well as serving as Vice President and President. She has served on inbound and outbound Journey Committees and been Journey Coordinator five times. She has also travelled extensively with the club and maintains friendships across the world.

Shirley (Sue) Harnett: The Friendship Force of Marlborough, New Zealand

Sue joined the Marlborough Friendship Force with her husband in 1994. From the first day, she has thrown herself into club activities, holding many leadership positions as well as being a frequent journey coordinator. Sue has also been the club magazine editor for the last 10 years, creating a bi-monthly publication that keeps members in touch with the proposed activities of the club, other general news and the publicizing of proposed exchanges. Sue has always been an enthusiastic member of the Marlborough Friendship Force, attending most activities and hosting many visitors from overseas.

Norma Hampton: The Friendship Force of Christchurch, New Zealand

Upon joining FF Christchurch in 1999, Norma Hampton was quickly appointed treasurer.  Since then she has been vice president, and president and is still a board member.  She served a four-year term as New Zealand Field Rep Coordinator, helping to develop two new clubs.  She has attended every New Zealand conference since 2003, and one year she organised a pre-conference tour for 29 people.  In her community, she has been honoured for her leadership in the Rangers section of Girl Guides (“Girl Scouts” in the US).  Additionally, she crochets blankets for the poor in India, volunteers for the local theatre, and helps at a foot clinic for the elderly. Current FF Christchurch President Eric Scott said, “We believe that Norma very much epitomises the model set by Wayne Smith; we are proud to have her as a member of FF Christchurch.”

Mary Milne: The Friendship Force of Kapiti Coast, New Zealand

Mary and her husband Alan were founding members of the Kapiti Coast Friendship Force in 1987 and were instrumental in organizing the club’s first international journey. Mary has provided leadership to the club in multiple roles on the club board over the years, including serving as club president. She has led both inbound and outbound journeys over the years and has welcomed many new international friends into her home. For many years she also served as the club’s newsletter editor. The club’s president gave this statement: “Mary has always given a guiding hand to our board, and her extensive knowledge of the Friendship Force has been of great benefit to us. She is a stalwart of our club.”

Alan Milne: FFI Board of Directors, the Friendship Force of Kapiti Coast, New Zealand

Alan Milne first became involved in the Friendship Force in 1986 and was instrumental in organising the first FF journey to Kapiti Coast, and in the resultant formation of the Kapiti Coast Friendship Force Club. Alan has been Patron of the Kapiti Coast Club for as long as anyone can remember and he and his wife Mary have held a number of offices over the years.  Alan also actively supported and promoted the Friendship Force in his capacity as Mayor of Kapiti for six years. His club was very proud when Alan was awarded the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2010, recognising his contribution to the Kapiti Coast community.  His services to the Friendship Force were included in the citation for this award.  Alan was appointed to the FFI Board of Directors for a four-year term and served as Chairman of the Board for two years. During this time he oversaw the implementation of the Global Expansion Plan. Alan’s medal was presented to him by all the Friendship Force clubs of New Zealand in recognition of his excellent leadership on the local, national and international levels.

Ken and Betty Tarrant: The Friendship Force of South Taranaki, New Zealand

Ken and Betty Tarrant joined the Friendship Force in 1988 and have been extremely valuable members ever since. They were both involved in the executive side of club leadership, Ken as president, vice president, secretary, board member and Field Representative; and Betty as a board member for several terms and also helping Ken in his various roles. They travelled extensively on eight outward journeys and hosted 21 international inward journeys. Both acted as exchange directors on inbound and outbound journeys. The club committee feels that they both put the Friendship Force of South Taranaki in a very prominent place in their lives.  They were a couple that the club members went to for advice on all aspects of the Friendship Force. Sadly Ken passed away in 2016 but Betty continues to be active in the Club.

Rob Joyes: The Friendship Force of Taupo, New Zealand

In 1986, Rob (and Bev) Joyes were asked to host some Florida ambassadors who belonged to an organisation known as Friendship Force. He was so struck with the values of the organisation that he immediately joined up as a foundation member of Friendship Force Taupo and has remained a board member for the intervening 26 years. From 1997 to 2001, Rob served as club president, and in recent years he has been foremost in guiding and informing new members and acting as a valued mentor to fellow members. Rob has served many times as journey coordinator and, in 2006, he was appointed to a four-year term as a New Zealand Field Representative. 

Tom Sharp: The Friendship Force of Howick, New Zealand

Tom and his wife Bev joined the Friendship Force of Howick in its early days, and since then he has filled a wide range of supportive roles during journeys and club activities. He has served as club president, club treasurer and journey coordinator over the years. He also played an invaluable part in planning the two New Zealand conferences held in Howick in 1995 and 2011 as well as the Asia-Pacific conference in 2003. In addition, he has done great work in promoting the club with local newspaper coverage. His friends describe him as “a loved and respected member who only ever has a good word to say.”

Dorothy Anderson: The Friendship Force of New Plymouth, New Zealand

Dorothy Anderson has served the Friendship Force of New Plymouth with dedication and enthusiasm since 1984. She served as club leader for 12 years and has held numerous other leadership positions. She has travelled to more than 40 countries: she participated in the club’s first outbound journey and has been journey coordinator for many others. She has also attended all the New Zealand Conferences since 1985, often volunteering as a panellist or workshop leader. Her fellow club members were pleased to honour her with the Wayne Smith Medal for her enduring contributions to the Friendship Force in New Plymouth and throughout New Zealand.

Douglas Dean: The Friendship Force of Marlborough, New Zealand

Doug Dean has devoted over 20 years to serving the cause of Friendship Force International. He first joined the Friendship Force as a founding member of the Marlborough, New Zealand, club in 1987. Standing out immediately as vice president, he quickly worked his way to a two-year term as president. During his time with the club, Mr Dean played a hands-on role, leading four inbound and seven outbound journeys. He has also had an impact on the national level, serving as field rep coordinator for New Zealand. As he founded several new Friendship Force clubs and hosted two national conferences, Mr Dean worked tirelessly to promote the message of friendship. For a period, he also served as New Zealand Friendship Force Finance Director. Sadly Doug passed away in July 2022. He will be sadly missed by his Friendship Force family.


Outstanding Club Awards

At each World Conference, Friendship Force International recognises and honours Outstanding Clubs that have made a special and unique contribution to the furthering of the mission of Friendship Force.

The Friendship Force of Christchurch – International Club of the Year 1993

The Friendship Force of Christchurch, which was established in 1984, is a vital link in our network of 326 clubs throughout the world. It is one of the 23 in New Zealand, with an annual membership of about 150. Its innovative activities during 1993 resulted in being recognised with the Gerald Weekes International Club of the Year award during the International Conference in Acapulco, Mexico in November 1993. Those activities included a car rally, winery visit, barbecue, dinner and mystery weekend. They also had the most delegates to the national New Zealand Conference, for which they sponsored a youth delegate. Hosting seems to be the Christchurch club’s speciality. They hosted a full journey from Des Moines last March, followed by a specialised journey from Japan. The Japanese exchange was unique in that these travellers were new to the Friendship Force. The club recruited 25 Ambassadors to go to Russia and upon their return hosted 20 visitors from Kiel, Germany, in October followed by 18 from Big Canoe, Georgia. And they are looking forward to hosting delegates to the New Zealand festival in April. So is it any wonder that such an active membership was chosen as the International Club of the Year for 1993? (From Friendship magazine, 1st Quarter, 1994)

The Friendship Force Taupo - Outstanding Club for 2012

The Friendship Force of Taupo, New Zealand, is admired by the other clubs of its region and by friends all around the world. This club has consistently shown good attendance and participation at regional conferences, where it received several awards earlier this year. Recently, the club developed and implemented a membership growth initiative based on a creative strategy and diligent follow-through, and the results have been astounding. This initiative is being used as a model by other clubs around the world. More information on FF Taupo’s membership growth strategies will be published on the FFI website in the coming months.

The Friendship Force of New Plymouth, New Zealand - Fantastic Fundraising Efforts

Fundraising is an important task for many club projects, and even for FFI. FF New Plymouth has been fundraising for the New Zealand National Conference they will host in February 2016. From April to October 2014 they raised over $4000.


Outstanding Volunteer Awards

At each World Conference, Friendship Force International recognises and honours Outstanding Volunteers who have shown exceptional leadership and skill in furthering the mission of Friendship Force.

1987 - Gerald Weekes, who, as a Regional Representative, directed our expansion throughout the South Pacific region and Canada. In 1983, a visit from Wayne Smith to his Wanganui office would change his destiny with surprising results. What followed was a quickly arranged visit by 79 Ambassadors to Wanganui and further journeys were set in place. In 1984, Gerald became the first Regional Director for New Zealand and advised on the formation of clubs in New Plymouth and Christchurch. In May 1985, Gerald was appointed Regional Representative for the South Pacific and set about approaching former associates with the aim of establishing clubs throughout New Zealand and Australia. This award as an Outstanding Volunteer for 1987 is for strong and constant service through which The Friendship Force has gained immeasurably.

2014 - Colin Ridge, FF Taupo - “Understand”: Over the past year, Colin has promoted the value of “Understanding” by facilitating excellent communications among the clubs of New Zealand, clubs around the world and the FFI office in Atlanta through his roles as national New Zealand Field Rep Coordinator and deputy chair of the world conference host committee. The clubs across New Zealand rely on Colin extensively, he serves them faithfully, and his support has been invaluable to the FFI staff. In addition, he remains a committed leader of his own club, having been instrumental in developing the successful recruitment strategies we now proudly refer to as The Taupo Model.

Last updated 11 September 2017