Otumuheke Stream revitalisation project recognised on national stage
Taupō District Council’s Otumuheke Stream revitalisation project last night received the Minister of Local Government's Award for Innovation in Council Community Relations at the Society of Local Government Managers (SOLGM) annual awards.
The award recognises programmes, projects or initiatives that demonstrate outstanding results through innovative means of community engagement, or community empowerment, and was presented by Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta.
The judges praised the revitalisation project for achieving the successful balance of supporting a tourist destination, with the need to protect the cultural and environmental heritage value of the site.
SOLGM’s Chief Advisor Raymond Horan said many local authorities face similar challenges and the project was an example of how to get things right.
Taking the time to develop effective partnerships was something that the local government sector could learn from, he said.
Chief executive Gareth Green said the Otumuheke Stream revitalisation project had been many years in the making and its success was testament of a true community partnership between the council and the key stakeholders particularly the Patuiwi Trust and Ngāti Tūwharetoa.
He made special mention of project manager and landscape architect Fraser Scott who had designed the revitalisation and worked alongside stakeholders from concept to completion.
Judging panel convenor Peter Winder said the award was hotly contested and the entries in this year’s awards were of the highest quality he had seen in his five years in the role.
“Taupō District Council can be justifiably proud of what it has achieved,” he said.