A Bay of Plenty biosecurity management initiative has been awarded the Te Puni Kōkiri Award for Bicultural Leadership 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 Te Arawa Catfish Killas, an initiative with Bay of Plenty Regional Council and Te Arawa Lakes Trust.

The project, which incorporates the matauranga and tikanga of Te Arawa, has resulted in the removal of 80,000 catfish from Lakes Rotorua and Rotoiti in three years. 

The initiative was praised by the judges as an inspirational example of managing biosecurity through co-management with Māori. 

“This model of managing a biosecurity issue through collaboration and co-management is widely applicable to any natural resource issue across Aotearoa”, said Raymond Horan, SOLGM’s Chief Advisor. 

“Blending education, action and the co-option of local communities is great example of a successful approach to environmental management and good regulation.” 

Bay of Plenty also won the BERL Award for Collaborative Government Action for Project Kopeopeo Canal Remediation, project to safely remove dioxin-contaminated sediment from the Kopeopeo Canal near Whakatane.   

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 Bay of Plenty on these wins and thank you to Minister Mahuta and Te Puni Kōkiri for their support.” 

Also announced today were the six category winners of the 2020 McGredy Winder SOLGM Local Government Excellence Awards®, 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.