A Rotorua Lakes Council pilot project designed to support for tamariki living in deprivation has been awarded the Minister of Local Government’s Award for Innovation in Council/Community Relations by the NZ Society of Local Government Managers (SOLGM). 

The Award, which is one of the categories of the prestigious 2020 McGredy Winder SOLGM Local Government Excellence Awards®, is for the Rotorua Child Equity Programme Pilot, a collaborative project between Rotorua Lakes Council, a number of community and central government agencies and a decile one school.   

The programme provides tamariki living in deprivation with access to activities, services and experiences that enhance health and well-being. Following a successful pilot, the scheme has been extended to five decile one and two schools. 

The judges praised Pilot as a successful community-based approach to well-being.  

Raymond Horan, SOLGM’s Chief Advisor said that this is the type of community-based solution that Parliament intended when it restored the four well-beings into the Local Government Act. 

“The Council identified a local issue and took a systems approach, taking on the role of advocate, broker and coordinator.” 

SOLGM’s Chief Executive, Karen Thomas, said that the McGredy Winder SOLGM Local Government Excellence Awards® are an opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate the incredible work of professionals in the local government sector. 

“The contribution and the commitment to communities that our local government professionals demonstrate is wonderful.  

“At a time when councils when are working tirelessly to provide services and support to their communities, it is great to be able to announce this news. 

“Congratulations to Rotorua Lakes Council, and thanks to the Minister for supporting this Award.” 

Also announced today were the six category winners of the 2020 McGredy Winder SOLGM Local Government Excellence Awards®, including a Supreme winner, the Brookfields Emerging Leader of the Year Award, several other Overseas Manager Exchanges (sponsored by Civic Financial Services, AskYourTeam and Marsh), the Skills Organisation Melbourne Business School Leadership Scholarship, the SOLGM Distinguished Management Award, and the President’s Award for Distinguished Contribution to SOLGM. 

SOLGM’s annual Gala Dinner event was cancelled due to COVID-19, and so award recipients were announced online this year.