The awards, now in their fifth year, recognise and celebrate the key role local government plays within New Zealand communities.The awards attracted its highest ever number of entries, with 75 applications and 22 finalists for six awards. This year includes a new category, for Governance, Leadership and Strategy. Winners will be announced at the LGNZ conference gala dinner in Christchurch on 16 July.LGNZ President Dave Cull says local government plays an essential role in driving residential, community and economic activity throughout New Zealand.“Local councils provide the essential infrastructure and other services which all New Zealanders use on a weekly, daily and hourly basis,” said Mr Cull.“But they also lead and implement the vision, direction and place-making of the towns, cities, districts and regions of New Zealand.”“The EXCELLENCE finalists all demonstrate the innovation, excellence in communication and consultative work undertaken to involve communities in the decisions and planning which frame their future and link closely to LGNZ’s CouncilMARK programme.”Forty per cent of New Zealand’s local authorities have signed up to this programme, which is designed to improve the public’s knowledge of the work councils are doing in their communities and to support individual councils to further improve the service and value they provide.Local authorities were invited to submit award applications in six categories:
- EXCELLENCE Award for Best Practice in Governance, Leadership and Strategy
- EXCELLENCE Award for Best Practice in Service Delivery and Asset Management
- Fulton Hogan EXCELLENCE Award for Community Engagement
- EXCELLENCE Award for Best Practice Contribution to Local Economic Development
- Air New Zealand EXCELLENCE Award for Environmental Impact
- Creative New Zealand EXCELLENCE Award for Best Creative Place
The 22 finalists in the LGNZ EXCELLENCE Awards 2018 are: EXCELLENCE Award for Best Practice in Governance, Leadership and Strategy · Central Hawke’s Bay District Council – Project ThriveProject Thrive resulted in effective and genuine engagement by the community to cement the governance of a new council and develop a strategic vision and direction for the community of Central Hawke’s Bay.
· Palmerston North City Council – Framing the Big PictureThe project unified Council activity behind a singular vision and within a comprehensive framework, making strategy and execution planning clear for councillors, staff and residents alike.
· Rotorua Lakes Council – Planning for the Rotorua WayRotorua Lakes is navigating a better future for its district through an integrated partnership and strategy-focused framework to deliver the district’s long-term vision.
· Waikato District Council – North Waikato integrated growth managementA multi-party project to develop an integrated and sustainable land use and infrastructure plan to address growth challenges for the northern Waikato over the next 30 years.
EXCELLENCE Award for Service Delivery and Asset Management
· Rotorua Lakes Council – Te Aka Mauri Library and Children’s Health HubThe creation of Te Aka Mauri represents a national first, if not a global first, in that it successfully co-locates Rotorua’s library service with the local DHB’s health hub.
· Waipa District Council – RATA (Road Asset Technical Accord)A collaboration between nine councils in the Waikato region to improve strategic road asset management planning.
· Wellington City Council (for Wellington Water) – Water in an EmergencyWhen Mother Nature threw Wellington a curve ball on 14 November 2016, the city responded with a collaborative project involving five councils, a CCO, and central government, to build water resilience in an emergency. Fulton Hogan EXCELLENCE Award for Community Engagement · Far North District Council – Ngā Kurī Auau o KaikoheA targeted, community-based social marketing project which aimed to assist hard-to-reach communities with dog compliance and to promote responsible dog ownership.
· Gisborne District Council – What’s the future Tairawhiti?An early engagement campaign which sought to ignite community engagement to help develop the direction of the Council’s 2018-2028 Long Term Plan.
· Kaikoura District Council – The Hospo Project: Feeding the Village PeopleThe Hospo Project was created to reinvigorate Kaikoura’s economy after the 2016 earthquake and empowered 22 local businesses to work together to execute a multimillion dollar ‘catering service’ contract.
· Manurewa and Papakura Local Boards (Auckland Council) – Engagement on the Manurewa Takanini Papakura Integrated Area PlanThe Integrated Area Plan is the result of a successful, collaborative and innovative public engagement process that captured feedback from youth and other residents who live the vision of the plan.
· Palmerston North City Council – Palmerston North Junior Road Safety ParkCreating a place for Palmerston North’s children to learn road safety in a simulated traffic environment brought community, Council and local business together to create a fun and functional park.
· Waipa District Council – Out of the ShadowsA brave engagement project led by Waipa District Council, which has forced its community to confront and better understand its past, so it can make better decisions for its future.
· Wairoa District Council – Wairoa Wastewater Stakeholder GroupThe Council established the Wairoa Wastewater Stakeholder Group to support it as it undertook community consultation about the future management of wastewater in the Wairoa township.
EXCELLENCE Award for Best Practice Contribution to Local Economic Development · Rotorua Lakes Council – The Revitalisation of the Rotorua Inner CityThe Council’s economic development strategy to revitalise the inner city, thereby improving visitor experiences for locals and tourists, catalysing private investment, driving retail tenancy levels and creating employment.
· Waikato District Council – Te Awa River Ride – Ngaruawahia to HorotiuThe final 3km of shared walkway/cycleway, including a Waikato River crossing, the iconic Perry Bridge structure. Delivering the infrastructure to complete the link was the result of years of collaboration between multiple stakeholder groups, each represented by passionate individuals striving for better outcomes for their communities.
Air New Zealand EXCELLENCE Award for Environmental Impact · Hawke’s Bay Regional Council – Heretaunga Plains Groundwater ModelThe state-of-the-art Heretaunga Plains Groundwater Model has unified a community around the future of New Zealand’s second largest aquifer, achieving broad support for ceasing further groundwater allocation while driving innovative environmental solutions.
· Northland Regional Council – Marine BiosecurityThe Council’s marine biosecurity programme has been leading the way in working to protect the region’s precious marine environment, now and for future generations, from harmful marine invaders.
· Wellington City Council – Our Natural CapitalA programme to protect and restore Wellington’s indigenous biodiversity, through predator control, threatened species protection, and cutting-edge research.
Creative New Zealand EXCELLENCE Award Best Creative Place · Horowhenua District Council – Te Awahou Nieuwe StroomTe Awahou Nieuwe Stroom is a shared place which is the result of a collaborative process; creating a space for tangata whenua, Dutch settlers and the local community.
· Kāpiti Coast District Council – Kāpiti Arts TrailA flagship arts event, which the Kāpiti Coast District Council has led for the past 17 years. This year’s event gives over 100 local artists the opportunity to welcome the public into their studios and observe the work they do and the passion they have for art. Its focus is on inclusivity, participation and celebrating cultural vibrancy through the district.
· Palmerston North City Council – Public Art ProgrammeAn integrated suite of initiatives that support the creative sector to build a sense of place and enhance access to the arts.