Waipa takes the win!
Waipā District Council has come out on top for their What’s Next, Waipā 2021-2031 Long Term Plan consultation document in the Taituara Great CD competition.
The competition is open to all councils across New Zealand to submit their 10 year plan consultation documents to be judged by their peers for the coveted ‘best in practice’ title around the sector and to share their learnings.
Waipā took first place in the competition amongst 56 entries, with judges citing ‘clear evidence of a strategic direction and link to key issues, coupled with a succinct analysis of the options, a good use of summaries and graphic design making What’s Next Waipā a pleasure to read’.
Waipā District Council Chief Executive Garry Dyet said taking the overall win amongst a record 56 entries showed the Home of Champions was in good hands with a Council that was led by what the community wants.
“People are the core of what we do here in Waipā so to take out the top honours, particularly after coming runner up in 2018, shows we have honed our skills in recent years to undertake really good community engagement.
“We started this Long Term Plan back in March 2020 with some pre-consultation in the form of community BBQs to gather our community’s thoughts on their vision and strategic priorities for the district. Then in 2021 we held lots of community events, including coffee with the mayor and even speed dating with the councillors to try to think outside the box and provide new ways of engaging with our community that they hadn’t seen before.
Waipā District Mayor Jim Mylchreest said the Long Term Plan was the Council’s contract with the community and meaningful engagement was at its core.
“Ensuring we had meaningful engagement with our community ultimately shapes the way Waipā moves forward, so this is not only a win for us, but also for our residents. I’m very proud of what we’ve achieved on their behalf,” said Mylchreest.
Dyet commended the wider Council staff for a mammoth effort to bring the Long Term Plan to fruition.
“It’s difficult to fathom the amount of hours, effort and tenacity that the whole Council team took to put the Long Term Plan together, this has been the most challenging LTP in my career at Waipā and I am so proud of what we’ve been able to achieve.
“I must give one particular shout out to our Strategy and Communication and Engagement teams for developing the best consultation document New Zealand has seen. Their dedication, storytelling and creativity is clearly evident and to receive this recognition is certainly the cherry on top,” Dyet added.
This year’s average mark rose from 66 in 2018 to 73, with twelve councils scoring in the 80s, up from five in 2018 and one in 2015. Taituara noted the winning score in 2015 would have placed eleventh equal this round.
Judges rewarded brevity, clarity and creativity, with longer consultation documents finishing at the back of the field.
Waipā was in good company in the top ten, alongside Central Hawkes Bay, Hawkes Bay, Hauraki, Timaru, Selwyn, Masterton, New Plymouth, Matamata-Piako, and Greater Wellington.
Hauraki District’s Alice in our Place was commended for its strong storytelling theme, and Central Hawkes Bay District Council’s Facing the Facts came in as runner up with highly commended.
The top ten consultation documents will be added as the best practice examples on the Taituara website later this year.