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Hamilton Project Scoops National Excellence Award

Media release

Hamilton Project Scoops National Excellence Award

26 July 2016


A project which has led a transformation in Hamilton’s central city has been honoured as a category winner at the Local Government New Zealand Excellence Awards in Dunedin last night.

Hamilton City Council’s Central City Safety Plan won the Fulton Hogan Excellence Award for Community Engagement, capping off a great night for the Council, which had two other projects named as finalists and was the only Council with finalist spots in three of the five categories.

The Council received Highly Commended awards for the other two projects – for transforming an old landfill site into the international award-winning Hamilton Gardens, and for the development of a new floating pumping platform on the Waikato River to maintain water supply to the city when river levels are low.

For the safety plan, Mayor Julie Hardaker led a collaborative approach by multiple agencies to addressing problems of people engaging in antisocial behaviour in public places. A two-pronged approach set boundaries as to what is acceptable and provided help to the homeless, resulting in 125 people being housed and provided with ongoing support and a 30 per cent reduction in reported crime in the central city.

The awards judges described it as “a well-planned and executed initiative which has addressed a complex issue, affecting all large urban centres, with positive results”.

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Hamilton City Council Chief Executive Richard Briggs says the award is recognition of the hard work and effort put in by the Council team and by supporting organisations.

“I’m very proud of what the team has achieved. To be recognised by our peers in local government is particularly rewarding, and to be named as a finalist is an honour itself. To win the category is a great achievement, and we can see that success reflected every day in what the Central City Safety Plan has achieved.”

Among the agencies the Council worked with on the plan was Wise Group, and Joint Chief Executive and People’s Project lead Julie Nelson says she is delighted with the win.

“This award is an absolute credit to Hamilton City Council and its leadership. The approach taken and the significant transformation we’ve seen in the central city is a win for everyone who have been involved in the Central City Safety Plan including the business sector, community agencies and general public. For The People’s Project, this award is a win for those people who no longer live on the streets and who now have warm, safe homes.”

The LGNZ Excellence awards, now in their third year, recognise and celebrate the outstanding leadership role local government takes within communities. There were 63 entries across five categories from 32 councils nationwide, with 25 projects named as finalists.

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