Ōpōtiki District Council shines at LGNZ awards
The cooperative work of Ōpōtiki District Council and the community-led response to COVID-19 was recognised at the 2022 LGNZ EXCELLENCE Awards last week.
The LGNZ EXCELLENCE 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 after taking out the top prize last year, it was amazing to be recognised again, showing the district was staying on the right track.
“Recognition at the LGNZ Awards is primarily recognition within our industry – showing best practice, sharing success stories, and laying out the lessons we have learnt along the way.
“But they are also a way of taking a national view and making sure we are still taking the right approach, partnering with our communities and getting results,” Ms Lawrie said.
This year, Ōpōtiki District Council received a highly commended award in the Social Wellbeing Category for the Ōpōtiki Our Way – COVID preparedness and response project. Councillor Louis Rāpihana was also nominated for an award recognising his work as a Young Elected Member (YEM) in this triennium.
Ōpōtiki Our Way was a community response to increase vaccination rates across the Ōpōtiki district. Council’s GM Community Services and Development, Anna Hayward, managed the coordination from inside Council.
“This was a true team effort with community providers, service groups and many others all working together, each using the tools we have available to us to make a significant difference.
“It was a mixture of council’s events and workforce teams who put significant time and effort into planning and delivery of all sorts of fun and engaging events to reach as many people as possible. We shared information, staff, branding, audiences and anything else we needed to so that our community was well informed.
“Thank you particularly to our key partners: Ngāi Tai, Te Whānau a Apanui, Whakatōhea and our service providers - He Pou Oranga o Whakatōhea, Te Ao Hou Trust, Whakaatu Whanaunga Trust, Ko Collective Trust, BOP DHB and the Ministry of Health. And finally, thanks to Mariana Hudson and Arihia Tuoro who acted as community coordinators throughout the project, their support, advice, connections and encouragement meant the project was a success,” Ms Hayward said.