Whitianga Town Centre Upgrade and EV charger loop named finalists in national awards 05 June 2019 Our Council is a finalist in two categories of the 2019 Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) EXCELLENCE Awards. The projects shortlisted for the awards finals are the Coromandel EV Scenic Touring Route and the Whitianga Town Centre Upgrade. "To have two finalists in the LGNZ awards is a great achievement for a small council like ours - we are up against some heavyweights in terms of competition from Wellington, Hamilton, Palmerston North, Napier and others," says our Mayor Sandra Goudie. The awards, now in their sixth year, recognise and celebrate the key leadership role local government plays within communities around the country. There were 47 applications to this year's awards from councils across New Zealand. "Both projects go to show what you can achieve when the community, council and contractors all work together. The EV charger loop is part of our contribution to action on climate change and we've had good buy-in from our communities in terms of where the chargers should go and from local EV drivers in helping to promote them," says Mayor Sandra. "The Whitianga Town Centre Upgrade also saw tremendous buy-in, and we continue to thank residents and business owners who have been really good about putting up with the disruptions during construction - but the results show it was worth it." Coromandel EV Scenic Touring Route (Photo: Roald Barthow charges his Nissan Leaf electric vehicle at the launch of the fast charger in Thames on 16 September 2016.) Our Council is a finalist in the EXCELLENCE Award for Environmental Well-being for the Coromandel Electric Vehicle Touring Loop. The Loop is a network of fast charging stations at key points around the Coromandel, which puts the entire district in range of electric vehicle travel. The Environmental Well-being award criteria is for projects that enhance the environmental well-being of its community; demonstrate a sustainable process, with durable results; and/or make significant improvements in health and safety. The judges praised our Council’s leadership of the Coromandel Electric Vehicle Scenic Touring Route project, commending it for “getting ahead of the game to future proof its district for electric vehicles while promoting it as a branded tourism route.” Click here to read more about what action our Council is taking on climate change. Whitianga Town Centre Upgrade (Photo: Outdoor dining on the newly revamped Albert St after Stage One of the Whitianga Town Centre Upgrade.) Our Council is also a finalist in the EXCELLENCE Award for Economic Well-being for the Whitianga Town Centre Upgrade – Stage One’, the first stage of our transformation of the Whitianga town centre to a mixed-use space. The Economic Well-being award is given to the project which best enhances the economic well-being of its community; is responsible for sustained improvements in performance while building organisational capability; and/or demonstrates strong adaptive ability to ensure effective performance in different contexts over time. The judges commended the Whitianga Town Centre Upgrade – Stage One as “an excellent example of a small council doing good things with a small budget”. LGNZ President Dave Cull said being named as a finalist is a significant achievement and reflects strong leadership and the innovative work being delivered by councils across the country. “These EXCELLENCE Awards demonstrate the value local government provides to community, economic development, infrastructure and the environment,” said Mr Cull. “The sector should be incredibly proud of its achievements as we celebrate these outstanding projects. The finalist projects are real examples of how local government delivers exemplary value and services to New Zealanders in a collaborative and inclusive way.” 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. Category winners will be announced at a gala dinner during the LGNZ Conference, to be held in Wellington on 8 July 2019. The 14 finalists for the LGNZ EXCELLENCE Awards 2019 are: EXCELLENCE Award for Social Well-being Hurunui District Council: Taking the Plunge – The Story of HDC and the Waiau Pool – A post-earthquake project to successfully rebuild the Waiau School and Community Pool. Kapiti Coast District Council: Dudley Creek – Youth Development Centre Initiative – This project addressed young people’s needs for space and activities to connect and support them in their community. Napier City Council: Andersen Park Playground – A new playground that caters to all abilities and all ages featuring New Zealand’s tallest playground tower, a wheelchair accessible mini-tower, climbing and swing structures, water play, functional artwork and interactive elements. Palmerston North City Council – Festival of Cultures – An annual weeklong event celebrating diversity and encouraging celebration and connection through music, film, performance, cultural dress, craft and food. MartinJenkins EXCELLENCE Award for Economic Well-being Hastings District Council – Te Ara Kahikatea – Whakatu Arterial Link: A journey of cultural inclusiveness and community empowerment – The construction of an arterial route improving the district’s economic and social well-being, following extensive community consultation. Thames-Coromandel District Council – Whitianga Town Centre Upgrade: Stage One – This project is the first stage of upgrading the town centre to a mixed-use space, involving the renewal of underground infrastructure, widening footpaths, landscaping, town square and plaza installation, and a playground upgrade. Wellington City Council – Wellington Waterfront – The 18-year transformation of Wellington’s waterfront to become the gateway to Wellington. The waterfront is now a multi-use space, harnessing award-winning design and architecture with heritage and culture. Waitaki District Council – H2OurHealth – Waitaki Water for Connected Communities – The construction of a 34-kilometre pipeline from Oamaru to Hampden to supply safe and reliable drinking water. Air New Zealand EXCELLENCE Award for Environmental Well-being Hamilton City Council – Helping New Zealanders See the Light – The installation of 13,000 customised LED streetlights which has reduced costs to the city and significantly improved both road safety and environmental outcomes. Taranaki Regional Council – Riparian Management Programme – A large-scale restorative freshwater programme supporting native habitats and improved ecological health. Thames-Coromandel District Council – The Coromandel Electric Vehicle Touring Loop – A network of fast charging stations at key points around the Coromandel, putting the entire district in range of electric vehicle travel. Creative New Zealand EXCELLENCE Award for Cultural Well-being Gisborne District Council – Tupapa – Our Stand. Our Story – A bilingual, multimedia resource developed with local iwi to tell the region’s story: a dual heritage of great navigators and first arrivals in New Zealand. Hamilton City Council – Maangai Māori – Creating History in Hamilton – A project designed to give Māori a strong and meaningful voice in running the city of Hamilton. Wellington City Council – Visa Wellington on a Plate – Visa Wellington on a Plate is New Zealand’s largest culinary festival celebrating food, community and culture while supporting Wellington’s restaurants using local Wellington produce.