Napier City's creativity and excellence is being lauded, with two council projects revealed as finalists in the 2016 Local Government New Zealand Excellence Awards.
Yesterday it was announced the Marine Parade Outfall and Viewing Platform is a finalist for the Chorus Excellence Best Practice in Infrastructure Management award, and the city's Sea Walls: Murals for Oceans project is a finalist in the Creative New Zealand Excellence in Best Creative Place category.
Napier Mayor Bill Dalton said it was fantastic for Napier to have two projects in the excellence awards.
"They're both outstanding projects, and both show fantastic initiatives," he said.
The viewing platform was praised for its fusion of functionality and aesthetic beauty, which had seen it become the most photographed structure on Marine Parade.
While the purpose behind the viewing platform had been to discharge stormwater from the CBD to the sea, Mr Dalton said the council decided rather than leave a pipe on the foreshore, they could "turn it into something beautiful".
"We always knew it would be a special addition to Napier."
Although the council had received flak in the early stages of the viewing platform project, the mayor said most of the negativity occurred before the platform was finished - this changed once people were able to walk on it, and take in its view of Marine Parade.
The Sea Walls: Murals for Oceans festival was also singled out by judges for the creativity and excellence of the idea, and its successful delivery. The March festival, the first in New Zealand, came about through a collaboration between the council and PangeaSeed Foundation.
After the project was suggested, Mr Dalton said the council immediately saw it as something that could add to the cityscape.
Since then, he had been "absolutely inundated with compliments" about the 33 murals dotted around Napier.
Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) president Lawrence Yule said being named as a finalist was an impressive achievement especially considering the calibre of entrants this year. "Local government is the lifeblood of New Zealand's communities and makes contributions to people's lives on a daily basis," he said."These Excellence Awards are a chance to celebrate the great work of local government in helping shape the places we all live, work and play in."
Category winners will be announced at a gala dinner during the LGNZ Conference in Dunedin from July 24-26.