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13 June 2018
Waipa District Council’s efforts to highlight the district’s heritage, including its role in the New Zealand Land Wars, has already created waves in Wellington.
Waipa’s communication and engagement team has been named a finalist in the Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) Excellence Awards which acknowledge leadership efforts nationwide. It’s the second time the Waipa team is up for national accolades. In 2015, Waipa won the top award for community impact for its success in engaging the community on its 10-Year Plan.
This year, award judges praised Waipa’s efforts to generate a community conversation about the district’s heritage, including what sort of investment Council should make in protecting, enhancing and promoting Waipa’s history.
Waipa District Council used “a novel approach that used an effective and well-designed campaign to address a complex issue of conflicting narratives about historical events. The project demonstrated broad community engagement that linked its history and fed through into its future planning,” the judges said.
For its heritage efforts, Waipa is up against six other finalists in the Fulton Hogan Excellence Award for Community Engagement.
Waipa also shares in a second award entry, also named an LGNZ finalist. The RATA project, initiated by the Waikato Mayoral Forum, is a collaboration between nine Waikato councils to improve strategic planning for the region’s roads. Judges noted the RATA project has led to increased efficiencies and more effective regional service delivery.
LGNZ president Dave Cull said being named a finalist was a significant achievement and reflects strong leadership.
“The EXCELLENCE Awards finalists all demonstrate innovation, excellence in communication and consultation to involve communities in the decisions and planning which frame their future,” Cull said.
This year saw the highest number of entries in the awards’ five-year history. Winners will be announced on 16 July.