17 July 2018
Waipa District Council has won national praise for its successful campaign to highlight the district’s heritage, including its role in the New Zealand Land Wars.
Waipa beat five other finalist councils last night to win the Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) Fulton Hogan Excellence Award for its work in sharing and promoting Waipa’s history. This is the second time Waipa has been nationally recognised for its community engagement activities. In 2015, Waipa won LGNZ’s top award for community impact.
Judges said Waipa’s work over the past year has generated an important community conversation which has already spread well beyond the district. There are now calls nationwide for a greater focus on New Zealand history and more interest than ever in Waipā-based heritage, including the district’s battle sites.
Waipa District Council chief executive Garry Dyet said he was hugely proud of the work his staff had done across a range of heritage areas. He paid particular tribute to Waipa’s communcation and engagement manager Natalie Palmer who led the engagement work on behalf of the district.
“The work that Natalie and her team have done, along with others in the organisation, has created a lot of important discussions at a time when Council was thinking hard about its priorities. It gave everyone a real opportunity to reflect on our shared history and consider what that means for our district in the future,” Dyet said.
“Waipā has a huge heritage story to tell. This award endorses the Council’s view that heritage is important and needs the same sort of focus we give to other parts of our business.”