Commitment to supporting local artists through its flagship Kāpiti Arts Trail has won the Kāpiti Coast District Council a finalist place in the Local Government New Zealand EXCELLENCE Awards, in the Creative New Zealand EXCELLENCE Award for Best Creative Place.
Now in their fifth year, the Awards recognise and celebrate the key leadership role that local government plays in communities around the country.
The Council has led the Kāpiti Arts Trail for the past 17 years, each year giving more and more local artists the opportunity to welcome the public into their studios, observe the work they do and experience the passion they have for art. In 2018 the number of artists involved has topped 100 for the first time. The Trail’s focus is on inclusivity, participation and celebrating cultural vibrancy throughout the District.
The event had its origins in the Council’s recognition that Kāpiti had a unique collection of relatively unknown artists. The Trail showcases these to the regional and wider community - providing recognition, validation and income to Kāpiti’s artists and its hospitality sector. It has grown to be a significant lower-North Island art event, expanding from one to two weekends in 2015.
Judges said “This project has given prominence to the diversity of creative talent in the District. The Council recognised that its District has a unique collection of artists who weren’t well-known to the community and has given its local artists the opportunity to showcase their work to visitors from around the country.”
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.
“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.