Search News & Media

New Zealand’s best local government wellbeing initiatives recognised in LGNZ EXCELLENCE Awards

From Covid-19 response initiatives to creating jobs and connecting people, finalists in the 2022 Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) EXCELLENCE Awards have earned high praise from the judging panel. 

Twenty-one finalists for four awards have been named and cover a broad range of outstanding council leadership initiatives. 

The judges said it was noticeable that “councils are playing a bigger role in social cohesion” and commended those “that have chosen different ways to make a social contribution” and those councils that have “tackled the bigger problems."

Councils were praised for innovation, ambition, and taking responsibility as local governments were having to “bend their minds” to more complex social issues.

Some were already delivering tangible results, the judges said. 

The panel said there was also a “very strong theme in recognising the value of engaging mana whenua as partners early and sustaining that engagement."

 The awards, now in their eighth year, recognise and celebrate the key leadership role local government provides and the work it undertakes to promote and grow the wellbeing of communities throughout New Zealand.

The winners will be announced at the LGNZ Fulton Hogan Conference Dinner in Palmerston North on Friday, July 22.

LGNZ President Stuart Crosby said the finalists exemplify the outstanding service and value that local councils provide in supporting the environmental, economic, social and cultural wellbeing of communities.

“Councils provide far more than vital infrastructure such as water and wastewater management, rubbish collection and roading. They also work tirelessly, often behind the scenes, to deliver projects that engage and enrich their communities.

“The 2022 finalists exemplify the value of building strong partnerships to develop and deliver solutions and services that support the wellbeing of millions of New Zealanders.

“A common denominator among them is a focus on strong communication and consultation, involving their communities in the planning and decision-making process.”

Local authorities were invited to submit award applications in four categories: 

  • Creative New Zealand EXCELLENCE Award for Cultural Wellbeing
  • MartinJenkins EXCELLENCE Award for Economic Wellbeing
  • Air New Zealand EXCELLENCE Award for Environmental Wellbeing
  • Kāinga Ora Homes and Communities EXCELLENCE Award for Social Wellbeing 

Judges for the awards were: Caren Rangi, Chair, Creative New Zealand; Michael Mills, Director, MartinJenkins; Andrew McKenzie, Chief Executive, Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities; Reuben Levermore, Head of Government and Regional Affairs, Air New Zealand. 

The 21 finalists in the LGNZ EXCELLENCE Awards 2022 are: 

Creative New Zealand EXCELLENCE Award for Cultural Wellbeing 

  • Christchurch City Council – Toi Ōtautahi – the city’s arts and creativity strategy 
  • Selwyn District Council – Te Ara Ātea 
  • Whangārei District Council – Pūtahi Park at Whangārei City Waterfront  

MartinJenkins EXCELLENCE Award for Economic Wellbeing 

  • Central Hawke’s Bay District Council – Broader Outcomes in Action through the delivery of the capital programme
  • Central Hawke’s Bay District Council – Jobs in Central Hawke’s Bay
  • Selwyn District Council – Selwyn Works: New Employment Approaches to Drive Economic Growth
  • Tauranga City Council – Three Waters Collaboration  

Air New Zealand EXCELLENCE Award for Environmental Wellbeing 

  • Auckland Council – Kauri Protection Programme
  • Toi Moana Bay of Plenty Regional Council – Kaituna River Re-diversion and Te Awa o Ngatoroirangi/Maketu Estuary Enhancement Project
  • Porirua City Council – Porirua City Council Streamside Project 2021-2041
  • Rangitikei District Council – Tutaenui Reserve Restoration Project
  • Rotorua Lakes Council – Te Puna a Pekehaua Partnership – joint consenting with Ngāti Rangiwewehi
  • Tauranga City Council – Kerbside Collections  

Kāinga Ora Homes and Communities EXCELLENCE Award for Social Wellbeing

  • Auckland Council – Supporting social wellbeing in Tāmaki Makaurau
  • Far North District Council – Nothing But Net
  • Hastings District Council – Pāharakeke, kua tae te wa! It's Flaxmere's time!
  • Hutt City Council – Te Awa Kairangi Kai Collective
  • Nelson City Council – Te Parikaranga, Iwi Engagement Platform
  • Ōpōtiki District Council – Ōpōtiki Our Way – Covid Preparedness and Response
  • Selwyn District Council – Faces of Selwyn
  • Tauranga City Council – Kāinga Tupu – Collaborating to Tackle Homelessness