News & Events

Palmy water wins big awards

Tuesday June 1 2021

Palmerston North City Council has won a raft of awards for the way it takes care of, and informs its residents about water.

Photo shows smiling young man holding his framed award certificate for winning Water Operator of the Year 2020.

Water Operator of the Year, Alby Shaw, with his award.

The Council’s water team won four awards at the Water Industry Operations Group conference in Hawke’s Bay on Thursday.

Then on Friday, the Council’s Communications and Content Team won a Public Relations award for its water communications strategy, and handling of the water main burst last September.

Water Industry wins aplenty

One of the crew responsible for Palmy’s drinking water has taken out the top gong at the country’s water awards. Alby Shaw won ‘Operator of the Year’ at the Water Industry Operations Group conference.

Alby has worked for Palmerston North City Council since 2015, when he was hired as an apprentice.

PNCC Manager of Water and Waste Operations, Mike Monaghan, says he was saw Alby’s talent from the beginning.

“Alby’s commitment to his work and our community has not gone unnoticed. It’s never too much trouble for Alby to work extra hours to help with urgent repairs. Alby has honed his hands on, practical tradesman skills to become our “get it done” guy. This is why our apprentice scheme is so powerful, as we now have inhouse specialists that are far superior to hiring contractors.”

Tama Whatuira and Steve Kinane from the Council’s wastewater team came second in the live tapping category, which is where a new water pipe is added to an existing water main without having to disconnect water supply.

The Project Manager for Council’s Nature Calls wastewater project, Melaina Voss, won ‘Best Supplier Paper’ for her paper which outlined the process for refining the options for Palmy’s future wastewater treatment and discharge.

Palmy’s water also made it into the top three for best tasting drinking water at the awards.

Water main response also secures win

Photo shows four of our award-winning comms team, dressed in their gladrags and holding their framed awards certificate.

Council’s communications and content team took home an award at the Public Relations Institute of New Zealand’s annual awards on Friday night.

The entry focused on our day-to-day water communications strategy, and how that enabled such a great response last year when the water main that supplies two-thirds of the city’s water burst. The city was put on ‘essential water use’ only and residents saved millions of litres of water over the 15-hour period.

The other finalists in the ‘Issues, Crisis and Reputation’ category included Waka Kotahi closing the Auckland Harbour Bridge, Watercare’s Auckland water restriction campaign, Waipa’s drought campaign and Fonterra, Auckland Transport, and the Real Estate Institute’s Covid-19 responses.