Porirua Town Council Wins Top Local Government Excellence Awards for Waterways and Harbor Restoration Project

Porirua Town Council has won the highest honor at the Local Government NZ (LGNZ) EXCELLENCE Awards 2022 for its efforts in restoring the health of hundreds of miles of waterways and its sacred harbour.

Porirua has beaten city and district councils across New Zealand to win the Fulton Hogan Local EXCELLENCE Award, having previously been named the winner of the Air New Zealand EXCELLENCE Award for Environmental Wellbeing for its 2021-2041 Streamside project.

The awards were announced at the LGNZ Fulton Hogan Conference Dinner in Palmerston North on Friday July 22.

The 2021-2041 Streamside Project, designed to rejuvenate the waterways that flow into Te Awarua-o-Porirua Harbor and its health and mana, beat out three other category winners, six highly recommended tips and 11 more finalists at the annual awards.

Selwyn District Council has won the Creative New Zealand EXCELLENCE Award for Cultural Wellbeing for Te Ara Ātea, a district-wide cultural facility in Rolleston’s new town centre.

Central Hawke’s Bay District Council has won the MartinJenkins EXCELLENCE Award for Economic Well-Being for Jobs in Central Hawke’s Bay, which has achieved transformational change.

And Hutt City Council’s Te Awa Kairangi Kai Collective – a community initiative helping to put food on the table during the Covid-19 pandemic – won the Kāinga Ora Homes and Communities EXCELLENCE Award for Good -being social.

LGNZ Chairman Stuart Crosby applauded the winners and all finalists for their initiatives which are “essential to the well-being of their communities”.

“There are outstanding projects in these awards and the sectors should be incredibly proud of their accomplishments.

“What councils are able to achieve using their local knowledge and connections is amazing. Their work extends far beyond garbage, roads and water.

“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.”

Crosby said councils had faced a number of challenges over the past few years, including ensuring basic services were provided throughout lockdowns and alert level changes.

“It is heartwarming to see what councils have been able to do for their communities in the midst of a pandemic. These awards exemplify collaboration with local businesses, iwi and community organizations. »

In assessing the 21 finalists, the jury noted that municipalities “play a greater role in social cohesion” and praised those municipalities that chose different ways to make a social contribution and those that tackled the most important issues. more important.

“There are more complex social issues that local governments need to address,” they said.

The panel commended the Porirua Waterfront Project for its smart use of information and evidence, and for the community’s engagement in the 20-year project.

“The results are impressive,” they said. “They used the evidence well and combined with community partnerships. The result is enhanced durability.

“Many more councils could use this approach,” they said.

Porirua’s 20-year project has already attracted $3 million in government funding, with the council well ahead of its planting targets for millions of streams.

“This project ticked all the boxes for government funding,” Environment Minister David Parker said in April.

The port of Te Awarua-o-Porirua is a taonga and of great importance to the Ngāti Toa and the city as a whole.

Selwyn District Council provided three nominations for the awards and was also highly commended for its economic project – Selwyn Works: New Employment Approaches to Drive Economic Growth.

The restoration of Rangitikei District Council’s Tutaenui Reserve, which turned a raw water source into a recreational playground, and Rotorua Lakes Council’s Te Puna a Pekehaua – a joint consent with Ngāti Rangiwewehi, who involves complex consent for drinking water, have been highly commended for Environmental Category.

Three councils were highly commended in the social welfare category: Hastings District Council for its revitalization program Pāharakeke, kua tae te wa! It’s Flaxmere time! ; Ōpōtiki Our Way – Ōpōtiki District Council’s Covid Preparedness and Response; and Kāinga Tupu from Tauranga City Council – Collaborating to End Homelessness.

The 2022 Outstanding Contribution to Local Government Award went to Whakatāne District Council’s Director of Strategic Projects, Jeff Farrell, for his tireless work behind the scenes for 40 years.

The awards, now in their eighth year, recognize and celebrate the key leadership role played by local government and the work it undertakes to promote and develop the well-being of communities across New Zealand.

“Awards like these highlight best practices in their sectors. It provides a platform for innovative initiatives and ways of working to be recognized,” Crosby said.

Local authorities were invited to submit applications for awards in four categories:

• Creative New Zealand EXCELLENCE Award for Cultural Wellbeing

• MartinJenkins EXCELLENCE Award for Economic Well-Being

• Air New Zealand EXCELLENCE award for environmental well-being

• Kāinga Ora Homes and Communities Award of EXCELLENCE for Social Welfare

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

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