While last year's regional referendum halted a proposed plan to form one council from Hawke's Bay's five, a unique online "amalgamation" of the five is now up for an award.
The site is called HB Viewer and was developed by the Hawke's Bay Local Authority Shared Services Ltd (HBLASS) which was launched last September to combine information from the five councils into a single online viewer.
The Napier City Council, Hastings District Council, Central Hawke's Bay District Council, Wairoa District Council and the Hawke's Bay Regional Council are involved and the shared data and mapping service is now in the running for an ALGIM (Association of Local Government Information Management) 2016 GIS Project of the Year Award, to be announced on April 11.
"As far as we know we are the first region in New Zealand with a service like this, using an open source platform to link data from all five councils," chairman of HBLASS Craig Waterhouse said.
As well as data sets from the councils, the site also features information from other organisations.
"This is a great example of the work being done within HBLASS. We're looking forward to finding out what the winner is on April 11," he said.
The map viewer has the same look and structure as that already on local or regional council websites and is set up for use by council staff and the community to help with planning, decision-making and being able to work together efficiently.
There are sections for council facilities, reserves, pathways, iwi and Civil Defence and it is set to be updated regularly as councils add specific modules and data for their own city and district use.
Napier City Council chief executive Wayne Jack is a keen supporter of the technology.
"HB Viewer really starts to open up information and tools, both for us as councils working together and for our community to help with decision making."
The company is owned by the councils with each having a director on board.