Opotiki's Harbour Project a finalist in LGNZ awards
Today, LGNZ announced the finalists in the 2021 LGNZ EXCELLENCE Awards. These awards recognise and celebrate outstanding work by local councils around the country to promote and grow the well-being of their communities.
Ōpōtiki District Council Chief Executive, Aileen Lawrie said that it was amazing news to be listed as a finalist.
“Here in Ōpōtiki, we have known that this project is transformative for a long time – two mayors and two Chief Executives and more than 20 years of work towards this vision. Now we are finally seeing the changes in our communities and the changes in our economic outlook thanks to the vision of mayors John Forbes and Lyn Riesterer and many councillors.
“These awards are a chance to share the story with other councils and lay out the lessons we have learnt along the way. This project is an excellent example of partnership – it started as conversations between a mayor and a Whakatōhea Kaumātua and it grew into conversations between council and iwi and it grew again to include all the many partners we have around the table now – government and regional council funders, researchers, industry, businesses and our communities.
“It is a reminder to other councils that we are much more than roads, rubbish and pipes and we have a vital role in driving the economic well-being of our communities. It is also a healthy reminder that economic development requires vision and purpose over the long term – there are no quick wins,” Ms Lawrie said.
The winners of each of the categories will be announced at the Fulton Hogan conference dinner and LGNZ EXCELLENCE Awards ceremony on Friday 16 July in Blenheim and the Mayor said she will be waiting to hear the winner with baited breath.
“Thanks are also due to our communities who have been with us on this journey and have backed this vision throughout – all our community surveys and consultation has shown consistent and high levels of support to continue with this project.
“Being a finalist in the LGNZ awards is another way to recognise the hard mahi we have put in to date and celebrate our unique success,” Ms Lawrie said.