Last night was the LGNZ EXCELLENCE Awards in Wellington. The Awards are an annual recognition of outstanding performance by councils around their country in their work promoting and growing the well-being of their communities.
A highlight of the evening was the Te Tari Taiwhenua Internal Affairs EXCELLENCE Award for Outstanding Contribution to Local Government. The two winners, our own Mayor John Forbes and Waitakere Councillor Penny Hulse, were greeted with spontaneous waiata and haka recognising their many years' work for their communities.
Ōpōtiki District Council Chief Executive, Aileen Lawrie, said that it was a very proud moment and a fitting recognition for the Mayor.
"It was really special to watch John go up on stage to such recognition from more than 600 attendees on the night. He has served the Ōpōtiki community since 1986 in various roles as councillor and mayor. He has held many national positions for local government and is well-known throughout the country for his hard work and passion for community-led growth.
"Vaughan Payne, current Chief Executive at Waikato Regional Council and former Ōpōtiki District Council Chief Executive, led a haka to recognise John's achievements.
"John was nominated for the award by Bay of Plenty Regional Council (BOPRC) Chair, Doug Leeder and BOPRC Councillor, Stuart Crosby and it was clear how well-regarded he is nationally," Ms Lawrie said.
Other winners on the night:
- Creative New Zealand EXCELLENCE Award for Cultural Well-being - Wellington City Council: Visa Wellington on a Plate (Visa WOAP)
- MartinJenkins EXCELLENCE Award for Economic Well-being - Wellington City Council: Wellington Waterfront
- Air New Zealand EXCELLENCE Award for Environmental Well-being - Taranaki Regional Council: Riparian Management Programme
- EXCELLENCE Award for Social Well-being - Palmerston North City Council: Festival of Cultures
- Fulton Hogan Local EXCELLENCE Award - Gisborne District Council: Tupapa - Our Stand. Our Story