Palmerston North City Council and Rotorua Lakes Council have led the way at the Local Government New Zealand EXCELLENCE Awards.
The Councils each won two of the six Award categories and were joint winners of the overall MartinJenkins Judges’ Choice Award for Performance Excellence and Community Outcomes.
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.
Palmerston North’s Framing the Big Picture programme won the LGNZ EXCELLENCE Award for Best Practice in Governance, Leadership and Strategy; and its Public Art Programme won the Creative New Zealand EXCELLENCE Award for Best Creative Place.
Rotorua Lakes won the LGNZ EXCELLENCE Award for Best Practice Contribution to Local Economic Development for breathing new life into the inner city; and the LGNZ EXCELLENCE Award for Service Delivery and Asset Management category for its Te Aka Mauri Library and Children’s Health Hub.
Wellington City Council’s Our Natural Capital programme, to protect the capital’s native biodiversity, won the Air New Zealand EXCELLENCE Award for Environmental Impact; Waipa District Council carried off the Fulton Hogan EXCELLENCE Award for Community Engagement for its project Out of the Shadows – Bringing Waipa’s Heritage to Life.
Central Hawke’s Bay District Council’s Project Thrive was highly commended in the LGNZ EXCELLENCE AWARD for Governance, Leadership and Strategy category, and Wairoa District Council’s Wairoa Wastewater Stakeholder Group in the Fulton Hogan EXCELLENCE Award for Community Engagement.
Northland Regional Council’s Marine Biosecurity programme was highly commended in the Air New Zealand EXCELLENCE Award for Environmental Impact; and Far North District Council was highly commended in the Fulton Hogan EXCELLENCE Award for Community Engagement for its Ngā Kurī Auau o Kaikohe project, promoting responsible dog ownership.
Waikato District Council was highly commended in the LGNZ EXCELLENCE Award for Best Practice Contribution to Local Economic Development category for the Te Awa River Ride – Ngaruawahia to Horotiu; and the Waikato Mayoral Forum was highly commended in the LGNZ EXCELLENCE Award for Service Delivery and Asset Management category for the RATA (Road Asset Technical Accord) programme.
LGNZ President Dave Cull said “Our judges commended the number of outstanding finalists in the awards across delivery of best practice value and services to their community and they are recognising this in awarding the first joint award in the Judges’ Choice category. The leadership shown by Rotorua Lakes Council and Palmerston North City Council is an example to others in the country of strong strategic thinking, excellent community engagement and well-designed execution.”
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.
“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 were announced at the LGNZ conference dinner in Christchurch on 16 July.