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Triple Honours For Hastings District Council In LGNZ Awards

Hastings District Council has scored triple honours in this year’s Local Government New Zealand Excellence Awards – two wins and a Highly Commended.

“That is absolutely incredible,” said Hastings mayor Sandra Hazlehurst. “I am so proud of our teams, all of our partners we have worked with on these award-winning projects, our community for its support and input, and of our councillors – together we share a strong commitment to improve the wellbeing of our people.”

The awards recognise and celebrate the leadership role local government plays in promoting and growing the well-being of communities throughout New Zealand.

Hastings Place-based Housing Plan won the Kainga Ora Homes and Communities EXCELLENCE Award category for Social Well-being, while Toitoi Hawke’s Bay Arts and Events Centre won the Creative New Zealand EXCELLENCE Award for Cultural Well-being. Mahi for Youth received a Highly Commended in the Kainga Ora Homes and Communities EXCELLENCE Award category for Social Well-being, beaten out of first place only by Hastings’ housing plan.

“This is a really strong endorsement of the projects we are working on and a particularly strong endorsement of the partnership approach we are taking; working with central Government, non-government organisations, iwi, and the commercial sector to achieve measurable results,” said Mrs Hazlehurst.

The Hastings Place-based Housing Plan was developed in response to the severe housing shortage. It recognised that there needed to be multiple solutions across all types of housing and that results could only be achieved through strong interorganisational partnerships. It is the second award received for the housing plan this year. In May it won the BERL Award for Collaborative Government Action in the 2021 LGFA Taituarā Local Government Excellence Awards.

The LGNZ judges praised it as a “stand-out project demonstrating innovation and leadership in housing processing and planning . . . Hastings District Council’s collaboration with Government and non-government organisations to build homes is a fine example of what every council in the country should do.”

The judges said the revitalisation of Toitoi had seen the arts centre “generating a significant level of participation and use of the centre with a diverse range of communities and activities, revitalising and regenerating the central city . . . There will be ongoing contribution to the community, including social and economic development, through the arts and events centre.”

Mrs Hazlehurst said Council understands the important contribution that the arts play in our community’s lives every day. “We know the arts make people happier, more connected, included and uplifted and this award celebrates our vision to become the most vibrant and significant arts, culture and events facility in New Zealand.”

Hastings District Council’s Mahi for Youth programme, focused on assisting youth not in training, education or employment, received a Highly Commended award, in the same category as the housing project.

“This is a very important programme that is making real difference to the lives of our youth. I am very proud of the team leading this project. Again, it is one where we are working closely with partners across sectors to achieve strong results,” said Mrs Hazlehurst.

Mrs Hazlehurst congratulated the other award-winning councils on their successes: Ōpōtiki District Council, which won the MartinJenkins Excellence Award for Economic Development and the overall Local Excellence Award for its harbour transformation project, Hamilton City Council, which won the Air New Zealand Excellence Award for Environmental Well-being for its new rubbish and recycling service, and Auckland Council, which won the Te Tari Taiwhenua Internal Affairs Excellence Award for Outstanding Contribution to Local Government during the COVID-19 response.

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