The 2017 McGredy Winder SOLGM Local Government Excellence Awards®

These Awards recognise exceptional and innovative projects in local government. 2017 entries, which opened in October 2016, closed on 1 February 2017. A news item on the entries received can be found in our News page here. The winners of these Awards will be announced at SOLGM's annual Gala Dinner on 12 April 2017 in Auckland.

The 2017 Award Categories

Innovation in Organisation and People Development Award

Is your local authority effectively developing its people and culture?

This category recognises innovative approaches to building an exceptional organisational culture or capability through the application of transformational leadership. Entries in this category might be multi-year programmes or one-off projects but they will involve organisational redesign, human resource management, capability development or related aspects. The approach must be capable of transfer to other local authorities.

LGFA Transforming Service Delivery Award

On-going fiscal constraints, increasing regulatory standards and increasing community expectations on the part of our communities are challenging us to find new ways of delivering a better service experience.

This category is for programmes or projects that result in an exceptional service experience through innovative delivery models or the redesign of business processes or practices. The programme or project can relate to any area of council activity which is about delivering improved value for money to ratepayers. The approach must be capable of transfer to other local authorities.

Innovation in Council - Community Relations Award

Are your council’s community relationships delivering results?

This award recognises programmes, projects or initiatives that demonstrate outstanding results through innovative means of community engagement or community empowerment. Entries may come from any area of local government activity, but must have community engagement, empowerment, or partnership as a key aspect. Entries may include successful collaboration with private or community organisations. The approach taken must be transferable to other local authorities.

BERL Collaborative Government Action Award

What benefits has your community achieved through your council working with other local or central government agencies?

This award recognises outstanding results that have been achieved through local authorities working with other government agencies. This category could include programmes or projects from any area of local government activity, provided there is a demonstrable community benefit, and the approach is transferable to other local authorities.

Innovation in Policy and Regulatory Development Award

Is your policy development or regulatory development cutting edge?

This award recognises the development of robust and effective evidence-based policy or local regulatory initiatives. Any policy, plan or regulatory initiative is eligible for this award. Entrants will be expected to clearly demonstrate their initiative was based on the application of the principles of effective policy or regulatory design and implementation, development of an evidence base and that the initiative is transferable to other local authorities.

The Minister of Local Government Innovation in Asset Management Award

How do you get the best performance from your assets?

This category, new for the 2017 Awards, recognises procedures, planning or practices that demonstrate innovative approaches to the management of assets. For example this might be an excellent infrastructure strategy or asset plan, an innovative approach to demand management, a new use of technology, or the innovative use or creation of asset related data. The entry must be capable of transfer to, or application by, other local authorities. Submission of constructed projects will not, in themselves, meet these criteria.

The 2017 Award Judges

  • Peter Winder, Director, McGredy Winder
  • Michael Willis, former President of SOLGM and ICMA
  • Mark Butcher, Chief Executive, Local Government Funding Agency
  • Helen Algar, representing IPANZ
  • Greg Schollum, Deputy Auditor-General, Office of the Auditor General
  • Glenn Webber, Director Local Government, Department of Internal Affairs will be joining the panel to judge the Minister’s Award for Innovation in Asset Management.
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About the 2016 McGredy Winder SOLGM Local Government Excellence Awards®

The winners listed below were announced at our Gala Dinner on 14 April 2016. We received 31 entries for our project categories and 12 entries to our new emerging leader award (this award is being offered separately from the Excellence Awards in 2017) and SOLGM would like to congratulate not only the winners but all those councils and individuals that submitted entries.

The full judges’ citations for the excellence awards project categories can be read here , the judges’ citation for the emerging leader award can be found here and the videos submitted with each of the project category entries can be found here .

Photos from the Gala Dinner of the winners can be found in our Facebook page .

Collaborative Government Action Category Winner"

Wellington City Council on behalf of the Memorial Park Alliance:The Victoria Street Transformation

The Judges Said: We could not help but be impressed by the engagement that all of the partner agencies undertook to bring this project to completion.The affected street is in the heart of the Wellington CBD and also is home to a large number of people.That this has been accomplished with little adverse reaction is testament to the work the three partners have done.

Read the original entry form here

View the video for this entry here

Innovation in Organisation and People Development Category Winner

Auckland Council:Regulation 18, The National Qualification for Building Control Officers

The Judges Said: This programme has been developed using sound adult learning principles and has clearly benefited from a good evaluation framework and reflective learning to modify the programme as it went along.

Read the original entry form here

View the video for this entry here

The LGFA Transforming Service Delivery Category Winner

Stratford District Council:CxT (Customer Experience Transformation)

The Judges said:

In undertaking the CxT initiative, the Stratford District Council gave clear thought upfront as to what success would look like.They report a $200 decrease in costs per consent issued and a 20 percent reduction in costs.The introduction of metrics across the activity and a willingness to learn from the results shows a true performance culture.

Read the original entry form here

View the video for this entry here

Innovation in Council Community Relations Category Winner and Supreme Winner

Hamilton City Council: Council Transforms A City Dump – the Hamilton Gardens Project

The Judges said: The transformation of a city dump into an internationally renowned tourist facility would not have been possible without community support, a successful fund-raising programme and a passionate staff.The project’s governance framework is an exemplar for all projects where councils and communities work together and for the use of trusts in general.Likewise the Gardens show the benefits of building coalitions of the committed – both amongst the community and the staff.

The result, the Hamilton Gardens, are a national treasure.While this is impressive in itself, our award recognises the engagement and harnessing of community goodwill that has gone into making this national treasure and ensuring its ongoing future.

Read the original entry form here

View the video for this entry here

Highly Commended Citation:Waitaki District Council – The Rebuilding of Haven Street

The Judges said: The experiences of local authorities in other jurisdictions tells us that increasing use of co-production approaches is one of the strategies that local government is using to counter the impacts of austerity.

Read the original entry form here

View the video for this entry here

Highly Commended Citation: Rotorua Lakes Council – Te Arawa Partnership Programme


The Judges said:
We commend Rotorua Lakes Council and Te Arawa for the obvious degree of commitment and trust that each has shown in the process of establishing this partnership.While the model itself serves as an example for others to follow, the key lessons that the sector can take from this entry lie are to start processes from the perspective of what is possible, ensure both parties are empowered, and being willing to adapt as the process develops.

Read the original entry form here

View the video for this entry here

Innovation in Policy and Regulatory Development and Implementation Category Award Winner

Grey District Council, Project Freedom Camping

The Judges Said:

We commend the council for taking an effective modern regulatory policy approach - identifying the harm and the contributors; developing an evidence base; providing education at source; and moving the emphasis to positive behaviours.

Read the original entry form here

View the video for this entry here

SOLGM would like to thank the project category and Supreme Winner judging panel :

- Lyn Provost, Auditor-General

- Peter Winder, Director, McGredy Winder

- Michael Willis, former President of SOLGM and ICMA

- Mark Butcher, Chief Executive, Local Government Funding Agency

- Helen Algar, representing IPANZ

Note – Peter Winder declared a conflict of interest in, and did not assess, one of the entries from Environment Canterbury, and one of the entries from Auckland Council.

Brookfields Emerging Leader of the Year Award

This award was offered for the first time in 2016. Nicola Chrisp, Manager, Communications, Waikato Regional Council was selected as winner from the 12 entries received with the judges noting that Nicola demonstrated all the attributes of an ‘up and coming leader’. She has a proven track record of sustained and innovative projects many of which had been taken up outside her council.

This Award is for an emerging leader who has a proven track record of designing or delivering programmes, projects, processes or practices that demonstrate innovative and successful approaches with an identifiable community impact. The nominee must be aged 35 or under at the time of entry for this Award, and may not hold a Chief Executive role, or report directly to the Chief Executive.

The quality and diversity of entries was very high and the judges awarded three highly commended citations to Rochelle Faimalo, Youth Development Officer at Hurunui District Council, Doug Tate, Community Facilities Manager at Manawatu District Council and Julia de Ruiter, Social Media and Digital Support Librarian at Waitaki District Council.

SOLGM would like to thank the Brookfields Emerging Leader of the Year judging panel :

  • Linda O’Reilly, Partner, Brookfields Lawyers
  • Nicola Richardson, Leadership Development Manager , Programmes, LDC (Leadership Development Centre)
  • Jutta Ziemert,on Manager Exchange from Germany with LDC (Leadership Development Centre)
  • Gillian Peacock, General Manager State Sector, Local Government & Corporate, The Skills Organisation
  • Natalie Stevens, Manager Learning and Development, SOLGM
Note – Natalie Stevens declared conflicts of interest in, and did not mark, the entry from Waikato Regional Council

Information about the 2016 McGredy Winder SOLGM Local Government Excellence Awards® Category Winners

The McGredy Winder SOLGM Excellence Awards are for programmes, projects and approaches that demonstrate professional excellence and innovation in local government management.


2016 Brookfields Emerging Leader of the Year Award Judges Citation


2016 McGredy Winder SOLGM Local Government Excellence Awards® Category Video Entries