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Dunedin Councils The Winner

5 September 2006

Dunedin, Taranaki, Hastings And Auckland Councils Are Winners

Dunedin City Council has been named Supreme Winner of the 2006 New Zealand Post Management Excellence Awards for the successful development of its activity management plans.

Dunedin City representatives were presented with a $5000 prize, a trophy and a framed certificate at a ceremony at the Society of Local Government Managers annual conference in Nelson last night.

Local authorities from Taranaki, Hastings and Auckland were also recognised for, respectively, projects aimed at eradicating possums, treating sewage, and a revolutionary collaborative library service involving five councils in the Auckland area.

Eighteen entries, involving local authority projects ranging from Northland to Southland and points between, were in line for the awards.

Dunedin's activity management plans entry also won the Process Management Category of the New Zealand Post Awards - earning a further $2000 prize.

The activity management plans were developed so the Dunedin City Council could align its strategic objectives, in terms of its Long Term Council Community Plan, with results in the Annual Plan.

The Awards Judging Panel saw Dunedin's project as both original and innovative. They were impressed by its strong strategic focus and the way in which a clear sense of direction and delivery was established and maintained.

They noted that it was a very good example of a council recognising what would be needed to meet the requirements of the new Local Government Act, sufficiently far in advance, to be able to plan and implement a decisive and comprehensive response.

In its entry, the Dunedin City Council said the activity management plans had enabled it to break from a "fire fighting reactive mode to become more proactive in dealing with service level issues. We have completely overhauled our approach to decision-making, and are now in a much better position to absorb change than ever before".

Taranaki Regional Council won the Community Relationships Category for its 14-year-old 'self-help' possum eradication programme that has reduced possum numbers by an estimated 95% in the region. The Judging Panel said it liked the fact that the project reflected a strong community relationship approach to an area of local authority responsibility that has more typically been approached from a regulatory or service delivery perspective. The degree of buy-in from landowners across the region was seen as extremely impressive.

Hastings District Council won the Technology Innovation Category for its new wastewater treatment system in Hawkes Bay that treats sewage to a high level, saves money and answers cultural imperatives. The Judging Panel said it was impressed with the project for a number of reasons. The issues which gave rise to the project could have been both very controversial and expensive. However, it was well managed from inception through to the consultation and consenting phases, producing an excellent cost-effective result. The judges noted that this was a very good example of the use of technology to find an effective response to particular issues facing the community.

Rodney District Council, Waitakere City Council, North Shore City Council, Manukau City Council and Auckland City Council received a Commendation in the Technology Innovation Category for their 'eLGAR' collaboration that has revolutionised library services in the region.

The judges appreciated the detailed project plan and rated it highly. They saw this as a very good example of the use of technology by a multi-council group working together to offer the public better access to services than was likely to have been achieved by the individual members working on their own.


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