News, Events and Culture

Palmerston North City Council wins top honours in LGNZ Excellence Awards

Tuesday July 17 2018

Palmerston North City Council projects won two out of six categories, and shared the overall Judges’ Choice Award in the Local Government New Zealand Excellence Awards announced last night.

Photo for 10 Year Plan consultation shows colourful street parade. Embedded text reads "What's the big picture?"

Council's recently completed 10 Year Plan consultation asked Palmerston North residents What's the Big Picture?

The Framing the Big Picture programme won the LGNZ Excellence Award Best Practice in Governance, Leadership and Strategy award; and Council’s Public Art Programme won the Creative New Zealand Excellence Award for Best Creative Place.

Palmerston North City Council was also named joint winner of the Martin Jenkins Judges’ choice Award for Performance Excellence and Community Outcomes, sharing the honours with Rotorua Lakes Council.

“We’re absolutely delighted to have won these awards which celebrate and recognise Council’s best practice in governance and cultural vibrancy,” says Heather Shotter, PNCC CEO.

Framing the Big Picture outlined the Councillor-led development of a comprehensive strategic framework to inform the development of the council’s 10-year plan – providing the city with the strongest possible opportunity to build a prosperous future.

“This award is particularly pleasing,” says Shotter. “Council’s vision – Small city benefits, big city ambition – is about reaching the city’s potential and capitalising on our strengths. Having a clear vision and strategy with measurable success sets us up for the next 10 years to harness great opportunities available for regional New Zealand.”

Judges said the project “showed a clear vision and strategy operationalised by measurable success indicators and was able to be endorsed by external organisations. It also demonstrates strong links between the Council’s strategy, financial decisions and public engagement.”

Shotter says: “Palmerston North already competes strongly offering lifestyle and affordability. Now we need to compete hard on opportunity. This ambition requires a more assertive, agile, enabled and responsive Council organisation, and we are already underway in driving improvements and increased capability. The new bolder vision leads us as an organisation to deliver the outcomes of this vision to the city and its people.”

Our Public Art Programme reflects Council’s integrated approach since 2006 to enable public art to contribute to the quality of life in Palmerston North. It has resulted in widespread accolades, with the city now promoting its status for contemporary and public art as one of its key distinctions.

This programme was praised for its “comprehensive integration of art in city planning and its public spaces, resulting in changing the perception of the city to one that supports the creative sector and improves the accessibility of art.”

“One of our five goals is to be a creative and exciting city,” says Shotter. “This award is an excellent reflection on how we are already making a positive impact in the area of cultural vibrancy, and it is something we will continue to deliver.”

LGNZ President Dave Cull said “Our judges commended all the outstanding finalists and winners in the awards across delivery of best practice value and services to their community. The judges recognised this in awarding the first joint award in this category. The leadership shown by Palmerston North City Council and Rotorua Lakes Council is an example to others in the country of strong thinking, excellent community engagement and well-designed execution.

“Overall the judges felt that the strongest entries demonstrated a strong strategic focus, clear outcomes, measured results, cost benefit analysis and engagement with external organisations – particularly a collaborative approach with stakeholders, and meaningful engagement with iwi and Māori.”

Palmerston North City Council was also a finalist for the Fulton Hogan Excellence award for Community Engagement, for the Junior Road Safety Park in Victoria Esplanade.