Council’s Long-term strategy, The Rotorua Way, and two projects that come underneath the future-proofing plan have been nominated for three Local Government New Zealand EXCELLENCE categories this year.
Rotorua Lakes Council is a finalist in the following EXCELLENCE Award for:
- Best Practice in Governance, Leadership and Strategy for its Planning for the Rotorua Way project;
- Best Practice Contribution to Local Economic Development for breathing new life into the inner city; and
- Service Delivery and Asset Management category for its Te Aka Mauri Library and Children’s Health Hub
Now in their fifth year, the Awards recognise and celebrate the key leadership role that local government plays in communities around the country.
Judges praised Rotorua Lakes Council’s revitalisation projects as “The culmination of a clearly thought out long-term strategy for central business district redevelopment which has given confidence to, and drawn support from, the private sector. It has well-measured outcomes and shows the Council’s consistency of forward thinking.”
The Te Aka Mauri Library and Children’s Health Hub represents a national, if not global, first in successfully co-locating Rotorua’s library service with the District Health Board’s local health hub.
Judges commended the initiative to co-locate the services for the purpose of improving service delivery, noting “This is a good example of strong use of community infrastructure to improve well-being within the district”.
The Planning for the Rotorua Way entry outlines the integrated strategic framework the Council has developed and is using to guide actions around the vision for the future of the city.
Judges were impressed by the continued delivery of the Council's cohesive strategy, noting “Their level of ongoing commitment and engagement, particularly with Te Arawa and other iwi, and its verifiable measures of success, showed this Council is well on their way through the journey to a positive long-term future.”
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.