Rotorua Lakes Council has won an award for its mountain biking strategy, with the city being dubbed a "jewel in New Zealand's outdoor adventure crown".
The council won the Martin Jenkins Judges' Choice Award for Outstanding Value and Service Delivery on Monday at the Local Government New Zealand Excellence Awards in Auckland.
Now in their fourth year, the awards recognise and celebrate the key leadership role that local government plays in communities around the country.
Rotorua Lakes Council took a long-term, strategic intervention approach to maximise recognition of the region as a global mountain biking mecca.
The council interventions focused on trails and infrastructure, collaboration and partnerships, and major events.
The mountain bike strategy has been a 20-year journey for Rotorua, taking in the 2006 world championships, the world single-speed championships (2010 and November 2017), and the Crankworx World Series event.
It has involved consultation and collaboration with iwi, the community and local businesses with the council now holding a 49 per cent share in promotional company Mountain Bike Events which has been awarded Crankworx until 2027.
The 2016 Crankworx event alone brought in $8 million to the community.
Outside of events, the number of people riding the Whakarewarewa trails increased from about 55,000 to 250,000 between 2005 to 2016, while the Te Ara Ahi Thermal by Bike trail opened in 2013.
Mayor Steve Chadwick, deputy mayor Dave Donaldson and councillors Charles Sturt, Raj Kumar and Tania Tapsell were at last night's awards ceremony.
"It takes a community, with council support, to make this happen," Mrs Chadwick said.
"We were very proud to receive the award on behalf of the wider Rotorua community."
Local Government New Zealand president Lawrence Yule said Rotorua was a jewel in New Zealand's outdoor adventure crown.
"When you think of Rotorua, mountain biking is one of the first things that springs to mind. This is the result of a well thought out and executed strategy and a wonderful achievement for the region and the council."
Judges were former Wellington mayor Kerry Prendergast, Earthquake Commission chairman Sir Maarten Wevers and The New Zealand Initiative's executive director, Dr Oliver Hartwich.