Napier City Council’s City Vision: Small City Big Ideas project is a finalist in the Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) EXCELLENCE Awards.
Now in their fourth year, the Awards recognise and celebrate the key leadership role that local government plays in communities around the country.
City Vision: Small City Big Ideas is a finalist in the Creative New Zealand EXCELLENCE Award for Best Creative Place and focused on assisting and showcasing entrepreneurial spirit in Napier’s City Centre, Ahuriri and Waterfront districts.
The project creates an overarching strategy that sets a direction and framework for new development and business ideas following the six principles:
- Putting people first
- Open for business
- A port and coastal city
- Our people, our stories
- Ecological excellence
- Pedal power
The principle of being “open for business” has created a marked change in the way the council engages with the public, building community confidence in risk-taking and driving innovation.
The council is now demonstrating open-mindedness and a willingness to engage and facilitate – and the community and businesses are responding with ideas, the pop-up Magnet Café being one example that may not have gained council support in the past.
Judges said the City Vision framework is an innovative programme that has the potential to transform the city in the long-term.
“It is aspirational and while the individual projects are small they will change the nature of the city. The council has involved a reference group and an expert urban designer, and are showing they are open to new ideas and to having new things in different places.”
LGNZ President Lawrence Yule said the finalists in the EXCELLENCE Awards showcased outstanding leadership being provided by local government throughout the country.
“Local government is at the centre of every community in New Zealand, helping shape the environment in which we work and play,” Mr Yule says.
“Being named as a finalist is a great achievement and reflects the vision shown by councils and the innovative work being done by staff. The finalists include some truly exceptional projects that are having a profound impact on communities.”
Local authorities were invited to submit award applications in five categories:
- Fulton Hogan EXCELLENCE Award for Community Engagement
- Creative New Zealand EXCELLENCE Award for Best Creative Place
- Air New Zealand EXCELLENCE Award for Environmental Impact
- Chorus EXCELLENCE Award for Best Practice in Infrastructure
- Crown Fibre Holdings EXCELLENCE Award for Best Practice Contribution to Local Economic Development
Judges for the awards are former Wellington Mayor Kerry Prendergast, Chair of EQC Sir Maarten Wevers and The New Zealand Initiative’s Executive Director, Dr Oliver Hartwich.