A Waikato Regional Council landmark transfer of services project has been awarded the Buddle Findlay Award for Bicultural Leadership as part of the 2021 LGFA Taituarā Local Government Excellence Awards, presented at a Gala Dinner event in Wellington tonight.

The project, Transfer of Functions to an Iwi Authority under s33 RMA, saw the Council transfer water quality monitoring functions to the Tūwharetoa Māori Trust Board, the first transfer of its kind since the Resource Management Act was introduced in 1991.

The judges commended the Council and Tūwharetoa for their leadership in overcoming the practical barriers to transfers for the out of the box thinking and for the huge investment of mutual respect and trust.

Taituarā Chief Executive, Karen Thomas, congratulated Waikato Regional Council and said that this year’s celebratory event was extra special after last year’s Gala Dinner was cancelled due to COVID-19.

“The last year was challenging for the local government sector, and there are plenty of challenges ahead.

“It was wonderful to gather to acknowledge and celebrate the incredible mahi in the sector.

“Congratulations to Waikato Regional Council for this landmark achievement. This is a really important initiative that other local authorities can learn from.

“Thank you to Buddle Findlay for supporting this Award.”

Seven category winners of the 2021 LGFA Taituarā Local Government Excellence Awards, plus a Supreme Award were announced, along with an award for an emerging leader, overseas manager exchanges, and a leadership scholarship. Also announced was the winning team of the New Zealand leg of the Australasian Management Challenge.

For further information, please see the 2021 Awards Media Pack or contact Ann Thomson on 027294385.