Key Points:

Waitakere Mayor Bob Harvey has received a United Nations-endorsed award for best practice in managing the environment.

The LivCom Personal Award follows his billing as "New Zealand's Al Gore" when delivering the keynote address at the Eco City Summit in Washington DC this year. Mr Harvey introduced the "eco city" concept to Waitakere after his election in 1992.

LivCom head Alan Smith said the Mayor had instituted a successful system of community meetings that had led to a greater social ownership of new policies aimed at improving physical and mental health within the community.

The city has won awards and international attention for community partnership programmes, such as Project Twin Streams.

It has led the move to sustainable buildings with its Waitakere Central civic building in Henderson, new libraries and community buildings.

Mr Harvey said a highlight as Mayor was getting the Waitakere Ranges Heritage Area Act passed this year, which affects 27,000ha.