Published: 17 July 2018
Strong community engagement has won two Hawke’s Bay council projects accolades in the Local Government New Zealand EXCELLENCE Awards 2018.
Central Hawke’s Bay District Council’s Project Thrive was highly commended in the LGNZ EXCELLENCE AWARD for Governance, Leadership and Strategy category, as was Wairoa District Council’s Wairoa Wastewater Stakeholder Group in the Fulton Hogan EXCELLENCE Award for Community Engagement.
Now in their fifth year, the Awards recognise and celebrate the key leadership role that local government plays in communities around the country. This year saw the highest number of entries in the Awards’ history. Winners were announced at the LGNZ conference dinner in Christchurch on 16 July.
Central Hawke’s Bay District Council’s Project Thrive was a comprehensive engagement process launched in 2016, following the election of a new Mayor and six new councillors, to ‘cement’ the governance of a new council and develop a strategic vision and direction for the community.
Judges praised the project for its collaborative decision-making approach and as an example of how a small council, with new political and managerial leadership, can, through engaging with its communities, plan and act strategically for the future.
Judges said “Project Thrive resulted in effective and genuine engagement by the community to shape the governance of a new council and develop a strategic vision and direction for the community of Central Hawke’s Bay.”
Wairoa District Council established the Wairoa Wastewater Stakeholder Group to support it as it undertook community consultation about the future management of wastewater – ahead of Resource Consent for the community wastewater scheme expiring in 2019.
The project was hailed by judges as “an inclusive, solutions-focussed and pragmatic response that included strong iwi participation and two-way community engagement.”
LGNZ President Dave Cull said “These, and all the EXCELLENCE Award winning projects, demonstrate a significant achievement and reflect strong leadership and the innovative work being delivered by councils across the country.
The winners and finalists incorporate best practice criteria from LGNZ’s CouncilMARK™ excellence programme which is designed to improve the public’s knowledge of the work councils are doing in their communities and to support individual councils to further improve the service and value they provide. Wairoa District Council is a Foundation Member and Central Hawke’s Bay District Council a new member of this programme.
“Overall the judges felt that the strongest entries demonstrated a strong strategic focus, clear outcomes, measured results, cost benefit analysis and engagement with external organisations – particularly a collaborative approach with stakeholders, and meaningful engagement with iwi and Māori.”