Opotiki District Council up for national award

Conceptual image of Opotiki Harbour training structures. Photo: Tonkin & Taylor.

Opotiki District Council, in partnership with the Whakatohea Maori Trust Board, have been nominated for a 2021 Local Government New Zealand EXCELLENCE Award.

The council have been nominated for the EXCELLENCE Award for Economic Well-being for their work on the Opotiki Harbour Transformation Project as Catalytic Capital for Further Investment into Economic Growth.

The project has acted as the essential foundation investment for the development of a cutting-edge, iwi majority-owned, aquaculture industry in the productive waters of the Eastern Bay of Plenty.

This is the seventh year the awards, which are open to all of New Zealand’s 78 local authorities, have been presented.

They recognise and celebrate excellence of work undertaken by local councils to promote and grow the well-being of communities.

LGNZ President Stuart Crosby says all finalists and the wider local authority sector can be very proud of their achievements.

“Local councils provide the essential infrastructure and wide range of other services which are essential to the well-being of all New Zealanders,” says Stuart.

“Our finalists are great examples of how councils provide exemplary leadership, engage with communities and demonstrate innovative and strategic approaches to develop and deliver solutions and services that provide exceptional value to millions of New Zealanders every day.”

Local authorities were invited to submit award applications in four categories; EXCELLENCE Award for Environmental Well-being, EXCELLENCE Award for Economic Well-being, EXCELLENCE Award for Social Well-being and EXCELLENCE Award for Cultural Well-being.

Winners will be announced at the LGNZ conference dinner in Blenheim on 16 July.

One council, drawn from all finalists, will also be presented with the supreme Local EXCELLENCE Award, in recognition of the increased value, benefit or improvements to the overall well-being of the people within their town, city, district or region.

This award, selected by conference dinner sponsor Fulton Hogan, reflects outstanding best practice governance and community engagement and environmental, economic, social and cultural well-being.

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 in the LGNZ EXCELLENCE Awards 2021 are:

EXCELLENCE Award for Environmental Well-being

· Auckland Council/Waiheke Resources Trust – Love Our Wetlands Waiheke

· Canterbury Regional Council – Whakaora Te Ahuriri project

· Hamilton City Council – Hamilton’s New Rubbish and Recycling Service

EXCELLENCE Award for Economic Well-being

· Grey District Council – Mayors Taskforce for Jobs

· Ōpōtiki District Council, in partnership with Whakatohea – The Ōpōtiki Harbour Transformation Project as Catalytic Capital for Further Investment into Economic Growth

EXCELLENCE Award for Social Well-being

· Christchurch City Council – Hoon Hay Park Youth Project – Community Hub & Basketball Hoops Competition

· Gisborne District Council – Tairāwhiti Roading Package - Provincial Growth Fund

· Hastings District Council – Hastings Place-based Housing Plan

· Hastings District Council – Mahi for Youth Programme

· Palmerston North City Council – He Ara Kotai – the pathway that brings people together

· Selwyn District Council – World-class service – transforming the customer experience

EXCELLENCE Award for Cultural Well-being

· Gisborne District Council – Puhi Kai Iti Cook Landing Site Redevelopment

· Hastings District Council – Toitoi – Hawke’s Bay Arts & Events Centre

· New Plymouth District Council – Te Hono – New Plymouth Airport Terminal Project Redevelopment

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