Waipā District Council has won national praise for its successful campaign to highlight the district's heritage, including its role in the New Zealand Land Wars.

Waipā beat six other councils on Monday night to win the Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) Fulton Hogan Excellence Award for its work in sharing and promoting Waipā's history.

It was the second time Waipā has been nationally recognised for its community engagement activities. In 2015, it won LGNZ's top award for community impact.

Judges said the council's work over the last year has generated an important community conversation which has already spread well beyond the district.


There are now calls nationwide for a greater focus on New Zealand history and more interest than ever in Waipā-based heritage, including the district's battle sites.

Waipā District Council chief executive Garry Dyet said he was proud of the work his staff had done across a range of heritage areas.

He paid particular tribute to council's communication and engagement manager Natalie Palmer who led the work.

"The work that Natalie and her team have done, along with others in the organisation, has created a lot of important discussions at a time when council was thinking hard about its priorities.

"It gave everyone a real opportunity to reflect on our shared history and consider what that means for our district in the future."