The Hawke's Bay Environmental Awards have been canned after 18 years, but is likely to be replaced by an event that still recognises those working towards better sustainable practices.
The decision was rubber stamped by the Hawke's Bay Regional Council's corporate and strategy committee last week but not everyone was happy about the move.
Regional councillor Liz Remmerswaal said she was disappointed to see the end of the awards and many others had written to councillors asking for the event to remain.
Among the writers asking for the awards to remain was Havelock North man Chris Ryan, from the Guthrie Smith Trust that runs an arboretum near Lake Tutira.
"Regional council staff have apparently proposed that these awards are no longer needed. This is a sad indictment of the philosophy currently present. Surely an essential function of the regional council is to manage our local land and water use and biodiversity.
"Historically this has included an educational component helping and advising many sectors of the community in maintaining our regions soils and waterways."
Cr Remmerswaal said it was important to recognise the people and organisations that gave thousands of hours to the community working on a range of environmental work.
"The council relies on working in partnership with the community towards environmental goals and the awards event was one of the major avenues to achieve that.
"With the increasing rate of biodiversity loss and ongoing challenges of dealing with pollution and living sustainably, as well as the challenge of educating the next generation, I think our work will be cut out for some time to come," she says.
The awards began 1995 and had been a joint initiative of the regional council, Hastings District Council and Napier City Council, until Napier pulled out last year along with the Department of Conservation.
Regional council chairman Fenton Wilson said the awards had run its course.
"Napier pulled out last year and Hastings was open to a discussion, but all agreed it should cease in the way it is presented.
"However, we still need to recognise the sterling work people are doing in the environmental space in Hawke's Bay and we agreed at the meeting that a function could be held recognising those efforts."
Mr Wilson said regional council staff had been instructed to look at the options for a new event and the options would be presented at the next environment and services committee meeting.