The high levels of service local councils provide to communities across New Zealand are again demonstrated through the exceptional range and standard of finalists in the Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) EXCELLENCE Awards.
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.
The awards are open to all of New Zealand’s 78 local authorities each year.
Award recipients will be announced at the Fulton Hogan conference dinner and EXCELLENCE Awards function on in Wellington Monday 8 July 2019.
In addition, one or more individuals will be awarded the Outstanding Contribution to Local Government Award and conference dinner sponsor Fulton Hogan will also select the overall Local EXCELLENCE Award from among the finalists.
Local authorities were invited to submit in four categories:
- EXCELLENCE Award for Social Well-being
- MartinJenkins EXCELLENCE Award for Economic Well-being
- Air New Zealand EXCELLENCE Award for Environmental Well-being
- Creative New Zealand EXCELLENCE Award for Cultural Well-being.
LGNZ President Dave Cull said local government plays a vital role in New Zealand.
“These EXCELLENCE Awards demonstrate the value local government provides to community, economic development, infrastructure and the environment,” said Mr Cull.
“The finalist projects in these EXCELLENCE Awards include some exceptional projects which are having a profound effect on the well-being of their communities and provide excellent examples of engagement and partnership with local communities, businesses and iwi.
“The sector should be incredibly proud of its achievements as we celebrate these outstanding projects. The finalist projects are real examples of how local government delivers exemplary value and services to New Zealanders in a collaborative and inclusive way.”
Mr Cull said it was very pleasing to see projects ranging from small to large scale featuring among the 14 finalists.
Judges for the awards are former Wellington Mayor Dame Kerry Prendergast, distinguished diplomat and public servant Sir Maarten Wevers, and Executive Director of the New Zealand Initiative, Dr Oliver Hartwich.
The 14 finalists for the LGNZ EXCELLENCE Awards 2019 are:
EXCELLENCE Award for Social Well-Being
- Hurunui District Council: Taking the Plunge – The Story of HDC and the Waiau Pool – A post-earthquake project to successfully rebuild the Waiau School and Community Pool.
- Kāpiti Coast District Council: Youth Development Centre Initiative – This project addressed young people’s needs for space and activities to connect and support them in their community.
- Napier City Council: Anderson Park Playground – A new playground that caters to all abilities and all ages featuring New Zealand’s tallest playground tower, a wheelchair accessible mini-tower, climbing and swing structures, water play, functional artwork and interactive elements.
- Palmerston North City Council – Festival of Cultures – An annual weeklong event celebrating diversity and encouraging celebration and connection through music, film, performance, cultural dress, craft and food.
MartinJenkins EXCELLENCE Award for Economic Well-being
- Hastings District Council – Te Ara Kahikatea – Whakatu Arterial Link: A journey of cultural inclusiveness and community empowerment – The construction of an arterial route improving the district’s economic and social well-being, following extensive community consultation.
- Thames-Coromandel District Council – Whitianga Town Centre Upgrade: Stage One – This project is the first stage of upgrading the town centre to a mixed-use space, involving the renewal of underground infrastructure, widening footpaths, landscaping, town square and plaza installation, and a playground upgrade.
- Wellington City Council – Wellington Waterfront – The 18-year transformation of Wellington’s waterfront to become the gateway to Wellington. The waterfront is now a multi-use space, harnessing award-winning design and architecture with heritage and culture.
- Waitaki District Council – H2OurHealth – Waitaki Water for Connected Communities – The construction of a 34-kilometre pipeline from Oamaru to Hampden to supply safe and reliable drinking water.
Air New Zealand EXCELLENCE Award for Environmental Well-being
- Hamilton City Council – Helping New Zealanders See the Light – The installation of 13,000 customised LED streetlights which has reduced costs to the city and significantly improved both road safety and environmental outcomes.
- Taranaki Regional Council – Riparian Management Programme – A large-scale restorative freshwater programme supporting native habitats and improved ecological health.
- Thames-Coromandel District Council – The Coromandel Electric Vehicle Touring Loop – A network of fast charging stations at key points around the Coromandel, putting the entire district in range of electric vehicle travel.
Creative New Zealand EXCELLENCE Award for Cultural Well-being
- Gisborne District Council – Tupapa – Our Stand. Our Story – A bilingual, multimedia resource developed with local iwi to tell the region’s story: a dual heritage of great navigators and first arrivals in New Zealand.
- Hamilton City Council – Maangai Māori – Creating History in Hamilton – A project designed to give Māori a strong and meaningful voice in running the city of Hamilton.
- Wellington City Council – Visa Wellington on a Plate – Visa Wellington on a Plate is New Zealand’s largest culinary festival celebrating food, community and culture while supporting Wellington’s restaurants using local Wellington produce.