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Wellbeing model in finals at Local Government awards

Horowhenua’s Community Wellbeing model in finals at inaugural Local Government awards

Horowhenua District Council’s move to help government agencies and community groups co-ordinate efforts to support local people has earned it a place in the finals of the inaugural LGNZ (Local Government New Zealand) Excellence Awards.

The awards recognise and celebrate outstanding leadership and impact across community, infrastructure and economic development within local government.

Horowhenua is one of six finalists for the Fulton Hogan Excellence Award for Community Impact, for a Council that has delivered a project or programme that has created a more culturally-connected, technically-informed, safe or vibrant community.

Strategic Partnerships and Community Services Group Manager Monique Davidson says the Community Wellbeing in Horowhenua initiative provides an over-arching structure that helps people access the services they need, and helps local services co-ordinate and collaborate with each other to provide services better.

She said successful projects include the establishment of a Teen Parent Unit, a reduction in youth apprehensions, an annual “Age on the Go” expo, and improved accessibility around the district for people with disabilities. Linking into it is the Ministry of Social Development’s Social Sector Trials, which looks for new and better ways to deliver social services for young people.

LGNZ President Lawrence Yule said it is very easy for people to get lost between services, or for multiple services to be doing the same thing.

“Showing strong leadership, the Horowhenua District Council has helped facilitate and co-ordinate a structure that cuts down on both, and has resulted in improved community well-being," he said.

“Nearly four years after the framework started, Horowhenua District Council reports it is continuing to enhance social service delivery in the region. This includes stronger community engagement, as well as better knowledge sharing, planning, use of resources and accountability among services. The judges recognised it has also resulted in stronger council leadership, which is what all local authorities strive to achieve."

Mr Yule said the LGNZ Excellence Awards finalists represent some of the most successful and innovative projects in the local government sector.

"A high volume of entries were received and the quality was deeply impressive. I’m delighted to note the number of smaller district councils within those finalists. It’s thrilling to see the impact that they can have with their often limited resources,” he said.

Other finalists for the Community Impact Excellence Award are Environment Canterbury's Canterbury Water Management Strategy, Hastings District Council's Development of William Nelson Park and Skatepark, Kawerau District Council's Adopt a Nation – 2013 World Rafting Champs, Rangitikei District Council's Path to Well-being Initiative, and Wairoa District Council's Raupanga Amenity Area.

The LGNZ Excellence Awards judges are BERL Chief Economist Dr Ganesh Nana, former Wellington Mayor Kerry Prendergast and the Chair of New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development John Rae. Winners will be announced at the LGNZ conference in Nelson from 20-22 July.

ENDS

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