The innovative WTF Tairawhiti campaign has won Gisborne District Council a finalist place in the Local Government New Zealand EXCELLENCE Awards 2018, in the Fulton Hogan EXCELLENCE Award for Community Engagement.
Now in their fifth year, the Awards recognise and celebrate the key leadership role that local government plays in communities around the country.
The aim of the campaign was to ignite community interest in helping develop the direction of the Council’s 2018-2028 Long Term Plan. Traditional methods, such as holding evening meetings, were not working, so the council took an innovative approach, resulting in a 700 per cent increase in early engagement.
The full name of the campaign was What’s the Future Tairawhiti? As well as the eyecatching WTF slogan, it included colourful branding, a roadshow of 35 events including Hui a Iwi at local marae, an interactive website, a branded Kombi van, provocative and colourful newspaper advertising and bilingual radio advertising, digital advertising and social media.
Judges praised the project for its innovative, edgy engagement, widening the participation from different communities and demographics, including youth and Māori.
Judges said “This project showed innovative, edgy engagement for consultation of the Council’s Long Term Plan reaching new community segments. The project widened the participation from different communities and demographics, including youth and Māori, resulting in increased face to face engagement by 700 per cent.”
LGNZ President Dave Cull says that being named as a finalist is a significant achievement and reflects strong leadership and the innovative work being delivered by councils across the country.
“The finalists include some exceptional projects that are having a profound impact on communities. The EXCELLENCE Awards finalists all demonstrate innovation, excellence in communication and consultation to involve communities in the decisions and planning which frame their future.”
The finalists incorporate best practice criteria under LGNZ’s CouncilMARK™ excellence programme which is designed to improve the public’s knowledge of the work councils are doing in their communities and to support individual councils to further improve the service and value they provide. Gisborne District Council is a Member of this programme.
“Overall the judges felt that the strongest entries demonstrated a strong strategic focus, clear outcomes, measured results, cost benefit analysis and engagement with external organisations – particularly a collaborative approach with stakeholders, and meaningful engagement with iwi and Māori.“
This year saw the highest number of entries in the Awards’ history. Winners will be announced at the LGNZ conference dinner in Christchurch on 16 July.