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Environment Canterbury wins public sector excellence awards

3 July 2014

Environment Canterbury recognised at national public sector excellence awards

Environment Canterbury’s success at the 2014 Institute of Public Administration New Zealand Gen-i Public Sector Excellence Awards reflects its commitment to delivering measurable benefits to the Canterbury region, says its chair Dame Margaret Bazley.

The annual IPANZ awards, which were presented in Wellington last night, recognise visionary leadership, innovation and achievement in New Zealand’s public sector.

The council’s alternative process to fines and convictions for environmental offences won the Excellence in Regulatory Systems category award. Known as Alternative Environmental Justice, it is a blend of diversion and restorative justice that is applied to offences where an infringement fine would not be an adequate deterrent and a conviction overly harsh. It also explores opportunities for restoration work to recognise the impact of actions on the environment.

The process has resulted in stream enhancements and ecological studies being undertaken that would not otherwise have happened. A school has even received money from an offender to fund a wetland planting project.

Environment Canterbury was also one of three finalists in the Crown-Maori Relationships Award category for its Tuia partnership with Ngāi Tahu, which was adopted to improve relations between Canterbury Papatipu Rūnanga and the regional council.

One of the key elements of the Tuia programme is a co-governance agreement with Ngāi Tahu to support the restoration of the cultural and ecological values of Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere, southeast of Christchurch.

Dame Margaret says Environment Canterbury is a leading example of a public service working for and with its community.

“We are very proud of the great work the staff of Environment Canterbury do for the people of the Canterbury community on a daily basis.

“They do not come to work to win awards but this national recognition is very well deserved.”

ENDS

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