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Inaugural local government Awards highlight community impact

12 June 2014

Inaugural local government Awards highlight community impact

New Zealand’s smaller councils have shown their strength by taking out an impressive number of spots in the finals of the inaugural Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) EXCELLENCE Awards.

The awards recognise and celebrate the outstanding leadership role local government plays within communities. “Local government does a critical but often unsung job in a region, town or city,” said LGNZ President Lawrence Yule. “These awards give national recognition to the strong impact projects driven by local authorities can have through community, infrastructure and economic development.”

Local authorities were invited to submit in four categories: Fulton Hogan EXCELLENCE Award for Community Impact; MartinJenkins EXCELLENCE Award for Local Economic Contribution; the Beca Infrastructure Project of the Year; and the LGNZ Community Event of the Year.

“We received a very pleasing number of entries and our judges were impressed with the quality of the entries. In announcing the 15 finalists, 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,” Mr Yule said.

The judges in the inaugural Local Government New Zealand EXCELLENCE Awards are: BERL Chief Economist Dr Ganesh Nana, former Wellington Mayor Kerry Prendergast and the Chair of NZCID John Rae.

The finalists for the LGNZ EXCELLENCE Awards 2014 are:

LGNZ Community Event of the Year

• Auckland Council: The Dick Smith NRL Auckland Nines – Well exceeding its own organisers’ expectations, the Auckland Nines attracted 45,000 people to Eden Park on each of the two-day rugby league showcase, generating significant returns to Auckland’s economy.
• Napier City Council: Tremains Art Deco Weekend – The city’s famous weekend of history, culture, fashion and music continues to grow and evolve each year, attracting more than 35,000 people to 200 events over five days.
• New Plymouth District Council: TSB Bank Festival of Lights – Held over six weeks at the city’s Pukerua Park, this 60-year-old event continues to attract a high level of community and family engagement.

Fulton Hogan EXCELLENCE Award for Community Impact

Environment Canterbury: Canterbury Water Management Strategy – An example of best-practice engagement on water management, this strategy has seen decisions about water allocation change to a highly collaborative approach with excellent outcomes.
Hastings District Council: Development of William Nelson Park and Skatepark – A multi-use recreational park was built to meet the needs of the city’s young people and wider community, attracting more than 12,000 users over a five-month period. The council worked with Sports Hawkes Bay which provided coaching and mentoring services for the young users of the new, safe facility.
Horowhenua District Council: Community Well-being in Horowhenua – A new Community Well-being Framework for government and non-government agencies to co-ordinate efforts has achieved more than 200 objectives and initiatives for the benefit of the local community. These include a teen parenting unit, an annual Age on the Go expo, and a 57% reduction in youth apprehension rates.
Kawerau District Council: Kawerau Adopt a Nation – 2013 World Rafting Champs - Local schools and the whole town got behind the championships that used one of the area’s best resources – its river – and was expected to bring 70 rafting teams from 30 nations to Kawerau. The local council leveraged the champs to get the town working together on intiatives that won the area positive national and international media coverage.
Rangitikei District Council: Path to Well-being Initiative – An over-all programme to improve outcomes for local people by working in partnership with agencies responsible for local services.
Wairoa District Council: The Raupanga Amenity Area – A run-down and graffiti-prone amenity area was transformed into an attractive space for locals and visitors.

MartinJenkins EXCELLENCE Award for Local Economic Contribution

Hauraki District Council: Hauraki Rail Trail – Not only is this rail-turned-cycle-trail historic and scenic, it’s had an immediate economic impact on a community once hard hit by the Global Financial Crisis.
Selwyn District Council: Electronic Building Consent Process – The council’s end-to-end web-based building consent system has resulted in 97 per cent of all applications being received online and within timeframes, speeding up its regulatory and service delivery responsibilities.
Wanganui District Council: 100% Connected – The council’s innovative broadband strategy has extended broadband beyond the urban area into remote and sparsely settled hill country.

BECA Infrastructure Project of the Year

Kapiti Coast District Council: Kapiti Water Supply Project – An innovative approach to water management and infrastructure investment providing a sustainable, good quality drinking water supply to Kapiti Coast residents.
Taupo District Council: Taupo Water Treatment Plant – An excellent example of strong, local engagement while constructing a new water treatment plant within limited space and on challenging geotechnical conditions.
Whangarei District Council: Lower Hatea River Crossing – The construction of an architectural award-winning 265m bridge across the Hatea River, including a lifting section to provide passage to yachts and other maritime craft.

The winners will be announced at the annual LGNZ conference in Nelson on 21 July 2014.


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