Published: 13 June 2018
Strong leadership and community engagement has won three Hawke’s Bay councils finalist places in the Local Government New Zealand EXCELLENCE Awards 2018.
Hawke’s Bay Regional Council is a finalist in the EXCELLENCE Award for Environmental Impact. Central Hawke’s Bay District Council features in the Governance, Leadership and Strategy category, and Wairoa District Council 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.
The Hawke’s Bay Regional Council project built trust with the community around the future of the Heretaunga Plains Aquifer. It included developing a three-dimensional groundwater flow model to demonstrate hydrological processes under different management scenarios.
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.
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.
Judges praised the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council’s Heretaunga Plains Aquifer project as “An innovative and challenging model that draws on leading edge science and has provided the basis for informed decision-making around water management”.
Central Hawke’s Bay District Council’s Project Thrive won acclaim for the leadership of the newly elected members and new chief executive and very extensive consultation within a tight timeframe. The judges noted “They’ve ‘walked the talk’ and the process informed a series of Council decisions.”
The Wairoa Wastewater Stakeholder Group project was hailed as “An inclusive, solutions-focussed and pragmatic response that included strong iwi participation and two-way community engagement”.
LGNZ President Dave Cull says that being named as a finalist is a significant achievement and reflects strong leadership and the innovative work being delivered by councils across the country.
“The finalists include some exceptional projects that are having a profound impact on communities. The EXCELLENCE Awards finalists all demonstrate innovation, excellence in communication and consultation to involve communities in the decisions and planning which frame their future.”
The finalists incorporate best practice criteria under 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 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.“
This year saw the highest number of entries in the Awards’ history. Winners will be announced at the LGNZ conference dinner in Christchurch on 16 July.