Published: July 8, 2019
Gisborne District Council topped the table of winners in the Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) EXCELLENCE Awards, taking home overall honours in an outstanding field.
The EXCELLENCE Awards, now in their sixth year, recognise and celebrate excellent performance by local councils to promote and grow the well-being of their communities. Winners were announced at the Fulton Hogan conference dinner and EXCELLENCE Awards function in Wellington on Monday 8 July.
Gisborne’s innovative Tupapa – Our Stand Our Story project, a bilingual, multimedia experience which connects local culture to the local environment, won the Fulton Hogan LOCAL EXCELLENCE Award. This project was also highly commended in the Creative New Zealand EXCELLENCE Award for Cultural Well-being section.
Wellington City Council won two of the award categories. Its ambitious and successful Wellington Waterfront project won the MartinJenkins EXCELLENCE Award for Economic Wellbeing; and its popular Visa Wellington on a Plate festival won the Creative New Zealand EXCELLENCE Award for Cultural Well-being.
Rounding out the award winners were Palmerston North City Council and Taranaki Regional Council. Palmerston North’s Festival of Cultures won the EXCELLENCE Award for Social Well-being; and Taranaki Regional Council won the Air New Zealand EXCELLENCE Award for Environmental Well-being for its large-scale Riparian Management Programme.
Hurunui District Council’s Taking the Plunge – The story of HDC and the Waiau Pool, the post-earthquake rebuild of its local pool; and Napier City Council’s new Andersen Park Playground project were both highly commended in the EXCELLENCE Award for Social Well-being category.
Waitaki District Council was highly commended in the MartinJenkins EXCELLENCE Award for Economic Well-being category for H20OurHealth – Waitaki Water for Connected Communities, its project to build a pipeline for the supply safe and reliable drinking water.
LGNZ President Dave Cull said: “Our judges commended all the finalists in the awards and said there were more high quality entries in the LGNZ EXCELLENCE Awards this year than ever before.
“Overall the judges felt the strongest entries demonstrated strong leadership and proven results over long periods of time, and particularly noted those with a strong strategic vision and a focus on delivery. The winners and highly commended entries are exceptional projects which are having a profound effect on the well-being of their communities.”
LGNZ also honoured two extraordinary contributors to local government, outgoing West Auckland councillor Penny Hulse and Opotiki Mayor John Forbes with the Te Tari Taiwhenua Internal Affairs EXCELLENCE Award for Outstanding Contribution to Local Government.
The EXCELLENCE Award for Outstanding Contribution to Local Government recognises one or more individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to local government and was awarded by LGNZ’s National Council.
The LGNZ National Council said “both award recipients are champions for their regions and outstanding leaders who have made a tremendous contribution to the sector”.
The winners and finalists in the category awards for councils incorporate best practice criteria from LGNZ’s CouncilMARKTM 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.
LGNZ EXCELLENCE AWARDS 2019