Local Government New Zealand is delighted to award Lawrence Yule the Department of Internal Affairs EXCELLENCE Award for Outstanding Contribution to Local Government.
Mr Yule first entered local government in 1995. In 2017 he leaves having spent 15 years as the mayor of Hastings, and nine as the President of Local Government New Zealand.
In that time Mr Yule showed true leadership across a range of issues and a commitment not just to his own district but also to the wider local government family.
In his role as LGNZ President Mr Yule oversaw the revitalisation of the organisation into a nimble, assertive and well-regarded policy and advocacy organisation. His nine-year tenure at the helm of LGNZ was unprecedented and that he was able to extend his term with the support of the wider sector speaks volumes.
“I have just loved the work,” Mr Yule says of his time in local government. “I’ve loved my time as a mayor and as a leader for local government. I found my area of passion. I didn’t know it would be like that but once I got into it, it was an easy, natural fit.”
He says while it is not without its stresses, being a mayor and in a position to help people is one of the best jobs in the world.
“You are much closer to the community than as an MP, it’s a hugely rewarding role and I will miss it.”
LGNZ Chief Executive Malcolm Alexander says Mr Yule leaves behind a strong legacy and the award is well-deserved.
“Since taking on the job of Chief Executive I have worked closely with Lawrence and he has been an outstanding leader for local government,” Mr Alexander says.
“Under his leadership LGNZ has changed the way it works, with strengthening and protecting local democracy at its heart.
“Under Lawrence’s leadership our work on understanding our three waters infrastructure, the review of local government funding and our work on future proofing New Zealand so it is able to thrive in the years to come has lifted these significant issues, and LGNZ, into the mainstream debate.
“There are many other instances where our voice is important and much of the impetus for this work stems from Lawrence and his commitment to the role of President,” Mr Alexander says.