Two Central Hawke's Bay District Council projects have been named as finalists in the economic wellbeing category of the Local Government NZ (LGNZ) Excellence Awards 2022.
CHBDC's Broader Outcomes in Action programme, and Jobs in Central Hawke's Bay project are two of the four finalists named in the MartinJenkins Excellence Award for Economic Wellbeing category.
The two other finalists in the category are Selwyn District Council and Tauranga City Council.
The judging panel praised CHB's council for "taking responsibility for achieving better employment and social outcomes" and said its initiatives "speak directly to the awards criteria in terms of economic wellbeing and getting people into jobs".
The Broader Outcomes in Action initiative extends beyond infrastructure and into how the council can best make an impact on the lives of those in its community, and unlock the benefits that come with local and central government investment.
An early focus has been working with the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs to create a platform for council contractors to engage with prospective employees.
This helps local employment, offering targeted training and developing the skills and experience of local people working on local projects.
The Jobs in Central Hawke's Bay — Turanga Mahi ki Tamatea project is community partnership programme linking jobseekers, government partners, community and businesses.
The project has achieved employment and helped local businesses through extensive community partnerships, has exceeded annual targets for employment outcomes, as well as those of peer Mayors Taskforce for Jobs programmes, engaging with more than 684 local job seekers, and supporting 307 of them into employment.
The project has also supported more than 731 local businesses and community organisations, and has contributed towards reducing the unemployment rate to the lowest in the region.
The judging panel praised Broader Outcomes in Action, saying "although it was small in scale it was innovative in approach; a council meeting both economic and social needs by using its position of proximity to the community".
The panel was also impressed by Jobs in Central Hawke's Bay, saying "it's about lifting a whole group of people who are really deprived and struggling to contribute positively to the community. It is going to take ownership of youth having a future in our communities, otherwise they will be the unemployed of tomorrow."
LGNZ president Stuart Crosby says the finalists exemplify the outstanding service and value that local councils provide in supporting the environmental, economic, social and cultural wellbeing of communities.
"Councils provide far more than vital infrastructure such as water and wastewater management, rubbish collection and roading. They also work tirelessly, often behind the scenes, to deliver projects that engage and enrich their communities.
"The 2022 national finalists exemplify the value of building strong partnerships to develop and deliver solutions and services that support the wellbeing of millions of New Zealanders.
"A common denominator among them is a focus on strong communication and consultation, involving their communities in the planning and decision-making process."
Judges for the awards are: Caren Rangi, chair, Creative New Zealand; Michael Mills, director, MartinJenkins; Andrew McKenzie, chief executive, Kāinga Ora — Homes and Communities; Reuben Levermore, head of Government and Regional Affairs, Air New Zealand.
Winners will be announced at the LGNZ Fulton Hogan Conference dinner in Palmerston North on Friday, July 22.