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Transformation Taita project wins EXCELLENCE Award

25 July 2017

Transformation Taita project wins local government EXCELLENCE Award

A Hutt City Council project to transform recreational and educational opportunities for young people, has won the Fulton Hogan EXCELLENCE Award for Community Engagement.

The Transformation Taita project involved many in the community in a project aimed at creating a brighter future for the Lower Hutt suburb’s tamariki.

The project was announced as the award winner at a gala dinner in Auckland attended by more than 650 delegates from local and central government, and stakeholders, last night. Now in their fourth year, the EXCELLENCE Awards recognise and celebrate the key leadership role that local government plays in communities around the country.

Based around the Walter Nash Centre, which opened in 2015, Transformation Taita is focused on empowering tamariki for a brighter future, while building a stronger community. The project is making the full range of council and other much needed services available to children that need it the most.

Partnering with five local schools, the council provided a “magic card” for every student, providing free access to council swimming pools, and free internet, book borrowing and printing at libraries, and free transport for educational trips in the greater Wellington region.

A Computer Clubhouse, based on a successful model in Naenae, gives students the opportunity to build confidence in the use of technology and now has 250 members.

The impact on the community has been considerable, with more than a million visits to the Walter Nash Centre, a 58 per cent increase in library books borrowed, and a 90 per cent decrease in graffiti in Taita since the Centre opened.

Corporate partners have donated computers and KPMG staff have volunteered in schools and hosted children at visits to their Wellington offices.

LGNZ President Lawrence Yule says Transformation Taita is an excellent project, well led by Hutt City Council.

“Achieving these kinds of results requires a collaborative effort and the council has shown great leadership to get this up and running and working so well,” Mr Yule says.

Judges said the project focused on giving young people in an area of high deprivation the right start. It involved many different parties from within the community who all have an interest in these young people and want to look after them.

“This project will give those kids a perspective they wouldn’t gain otherwise. It has great partnerships with a whole range of players involved.”

Judges for the awards are former Wellington Mayor Kerry Prendergast, Chair of EQC Sir Maarten Wevers and The New Zealand Initiative’s Executive Director, Dr Oliver Hartwich.

The winners in the LGNZ EXCELLENCE Awards 2017 are:

Fulton Hogan EXCELLENCE Award for Community Engagement

• Hutt City Council – Transformation Taita - Aiming to create a brighter future for all young people while building a stronger community, Transformation Taita offers access to facilities, resources and activities to those who need it most.

Highly commended

Queenstown Lakes District Council – QLDC Winter Morning Road Reports - Throughout winter, seven days a week, QLDC provides early morning reports on road conditions throughout the district to thousands of people across multiple communications channels.

• Waikato Regional Council – Healthy Rivers: Plan for Change/Wai Ora: He Rautaki Whakapaipai - Healthy Rivers Wai Ora is a courageous collaborative approach to improving water quality, empowering communities to own the problems - and solutions - in arguably New Zealand’s most important catchment area.

Creative New Zealand EXCELLENCE Award Best Creative Place

• Napier City Council – City Vision: Small City, Big Ideas - This overarching strategy for projects in the City Centre, Ahuriri and the Waterfront areas is guiding Napier to an integrated future where opportunities are seized and the city is both beautiful and memorable.

Air New Zealand EXCELLENCE Award for Environmental Impact

• Palmerston North City Council – Green Corridors Palmerston North - More than 150,000 native trees have so far been planted as part of this project to connect the Tararua Ranges to the Manawatu River through a corridor of native plants alongside streams and tributaries, improving water quality and bringing birdlife back to the city.

Chorus EXCELLENCE Award for Best Practice in Infrastructure Management

• Waikato District Council – Waikato District Alliance - The Alliance is the largest purely roading group in the country, with an integrated team of council staff, contractors and suppliers working together to improve asset management, and renewal and maintenance services to the community – dramatically improving response times.

Crown Fibre Holdings EXCELLENCE Award for Best Practice Contribution to Local Economic Development

• West Coast Regional Council – Untamed Natural Wilderness - The West Coast’s exciting new brand has dramatically boosted tourism in the region, and is an ideal antidote to the decline in other major economic sectors that was damaging the social fabric of local communities.

Highly commended

• Rotorua Lakes Council – Rotorua Mountain Biking Strategy - The strategy to establish Rotorua as a globally recognised mountain bike destination has seen visits to the Whakarewarewa Mountain Bike Park increased from 55,000 in 2005 to 250,000 in 2016, with resulting job growth coming from increased investment in retail and support businesses.

• Selwyn District Council – Izone Business Park Development - The Izone Business Park is New Zealand’s largest fully consented and development-ready industrial park with 68 new businesses employing 1,200 people. Another 800 jobs are forecast as development work is completed by land purchasers.

MartinJenkins Judges' Choice Award for Outstanding Value and Service Delivery

• Rotorua Lakes Council – Rotorua Mountain Biking Strategy - The strategy to establish Rotorua as a globally recognised mountain bike destination has seen visits to the Whakarewarewa Mountain Bike Park increased from 55,000 in 2005 to 250,000 in 2016, with resulting job growth coming from increased investment in retail and support businesses.


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