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Napier City Council wins LGNZ EXCELLENCE Award

25 July 2017

Napier City Council wins LGNZ EXCELLENCE Award

Napier City Council’s City Vision: Small City Big Ideas project is a winner in the LGNZ EXCELLENCE Awards, topping the Creative New Zealand EXCELLENCE Award for Best Creative Place category.

City Vision: Small City Big Ideas sets the vision and strategic framework for the council’s new way of working and is focused on assisting and showcasing entrepreneurial spirit in Napier’s City Centre, Ahuriri and Waterfront districts.

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.

The project creates an overarching strategy that sets a direction for new development and business ideas following six principles:

• Putting people first

• Open for business

• A port and coastal city

• Our people, our stories

• Ecological excellence

• Pedal power

The principles lie at the heart of a new approach to city making. They underpin any future decisions made on projects and will guide the Council in how it will operate in future – its priorities, its relationships with the community and stakeholders, and its internal working environment.

The principle of being “open for business” has already created a marked change in the way the Council engages with the public, building community confidence in risk-taking and driving innovation.

The Council is now demonstrating open-mindedness and a willingness to engage and facilitate – and the community and businesses are responding with ideas, the pop-up Magnet Café being one example that may not have gained Council support in the past. A range of other examples, including a parklet, children’s play space, ping pong parlour and a night fiesta have proved successful.

LGNZ president Lawrence Yule says City Vision: Small City Big Ideas shows an innovative approach to creating a vibrant and liveable city.

“Having been a finalist in the Creative Place category in 2016, and now winning the award, Napier is showing it is leading the way in place making in New Zealand,” Mr Yule says.

Judges said the City Vision framework is an innovative programme that has the potential to transform the city in the long-term.

“It is aspirational and collectively these projects have the potential to change the nature of the city. The council has involved a reference group and an expert urban designer, and are showing they are open to new ideas and to having new things in different places.”

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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