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 78 councils across New Zealand.
Criteria for the Social Wellbeing Award is for projects that have enhanced social wellbeing while demonstrating strong community involvement.
The Festival of Cultures is an annual week-long event celebrating cultural diversity and encouraging celebration and connection through music, film, performance, cultural dress, craft and food. The event runs in partnership with the Manawatū Multicultural Council and other community partners.
“From its inception in 1993, the Festival of Cultures has been a community-driven partnership that activates and enhances social connectedness and community cohesion,” says Debbie Duncan, General Manager – Community. “For many people, it’s a highly anticipated event due to its sense of celebration, appreciation and acceptance of cultural diversity.
“We’re delighted that the festival has been recognised by being named as a finalist in these awards.”
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.
“The finalist projects include some exceptional projects which are having a profound effect on the wellbeing of their communities and provide excellent examples of engagement and partnership with local communities, businesses and iwi.
“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.