Far North District Council has won the Minister of Local Government’s Award for Excellence in Council/Community Relations for its Te Hiku o te Ika Revitalisation Project. 

Delivered by Micheal Lovett, Deputy Chief Executive for the Local Government branch at the Department of Internal Affairs, this Award recognises programmes, projects or initiatives that demonstrate outstanding results through excellent community engagement or community empowerment. 

This is highly successful collaboration between Far North District Council, the Kaitaia Business Association, the five iwi of Far North’s Te Hiku region and the wider community. Its purpose is to create employment in, and enhance the vibrancy of, three of New Zealand’s most deprived areas.  Some 81 urban development, restoration and revitalisation projects were identified and folded into the project. There are dozens of examples of Te Hiku o te Ika Revitalisation Projects on their Facebook page.

The Judges said "This is an exemplar of how modern local government acts as leader and broker of solutions that promote community wellbeing, and achieves tangible results. This pragmatic and focussed wellbeing initiative is exactly the outcome that Parliament had in mind when it restored wellbeing to the statutory purpose of local government."

Entries for the Minister of Local Government’s Award for Excellence in Council/Community Relations may come from any area of local government activity, but must have community engagement, empowerment, or partnership as a key aspect, especially those undertaken over and above statutory requirements. Entries may include successful collaboration with private or community organisations. The approach taken must be capable of transfer to other local authorities. Last year Western Bay of Plenty District Council won this Award for their Transfer of Ownership of Panepane Purakau.

The Department of Internal Affairs has been the sponsor for this category for six years in a row. The Department’s Local Government branch provides expertise and experience across central and local government agencies to build relationships, provide a two-way conduit for issues playing out in local government, and support a range of activities that are critical for communities and are a shared priority for both arms of government. 

For further information, please see the 2022 Awards Media Pack.