Award For Te Arawa Partnership

An award for the Te Arawa partnership at this year’s Local Government New Zealand Excellence Awards is a credit to the whole Rotorua community, Mayor Steve Chadwick says.

Rotorua Lakes Council won the Martin Jenkins Judges’ Choice Award for Outstanding Value and Service Delivery, a special award given to a finalist in recognition for “outstanding delivery of best practice value and services to their community”. The Te Arawa Partnership was also Highly Commended in the Community Engagement category at the 2016 awards, held in conjunction with the annual LGNZ Conference in Dunedin.

The awards, now in their third year, recognise and celebrate the outstanding leadership role local government plays in communities.

The award won by the Rotorua council recognises “the increased value, benefit or improvements to the overall wellbeing of the people within [the winner’s] town, city, district or region, delivered through outstanding community engagement, environment, infrastructure, creative or economic development strategies, projects and initiatives”.

In announcing the Rotorua finalists, LGNZ described the Te Arawa partnership as “a ground-breaking collaboration” representing “a step change in council/iwi relationships which will influence the manner in which relationships develop in other parts of New Zealand”. Development of a charitable trust, Te Tatau o Te Arawa, to provide ongoing engagement between Te Arawa and the Council was “a major innovation,” LGNZ said.

Mayor Steve Chadwick says the award is a tribute to the Rotorua district community.

The Te Arawa Partnership is “another step forward in Rotorua’s journey”, she says.

What’s good for Te Arawa is good for us all as a community and this award is a wonderful tribute to the whole community.”

Te Tatau o Te Arawa chair Te Taru White says the Te Arawa, the council and the Rotorua community should be very proud.

“We had belief in ourselves and it has been recognised nationally that this is a good thing to do, that as a community we can raise ourselves together.

It’s a new way of doing things, it can work, it is working, and if we can do it, so can every other council,” Mr White says.

“It wasn’t an easy road. Nothing comes easy, you’ve got to do the hard yards and be dedicated and believe in it. It takes leadership and a love for our community.”

He says the partnership is working very well from Te Arawa’s perspective
“This is a partnership built on honesty and integrity and with the intention to do the best for our community,” Mr White says.

“There’s a lot of work still to do but we’ll get through it and we’ve set the template for others.”
Rotorua Lakes Council was a finalist in two categories this year – the Te Arawa Partnership was a finalist in the Fulton Hogan Excellence Award for Community Engagement and council’s Percent-for-Arts policy was a finalist for the Creative New Zealand Excellence Award for Best Creative Place.

Rotorua Lakes Council representatives Mayor Steve Chadwick, Deputy Mayor Dave Donaldson, chief executive Geoff Williams, Te Tatau o Te Arawa board chair Te Taru White, and councillors Janet Wepa and Karen Hunt, were on hand to pick up the award on the council’s behalf.