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Making a splash . . . Relay teams race at the opening of the MainPower Waiau Community Pool in February. File photo

Waiau’s new community pool is making another a big splash on the national stage.

‘Taking the Plunge – the story of the Hurunui District Council and the Waiau Pool’ has been nominated as a finalist in Local Government New Zealand’s (LGNZ) Excellence Awards.

The rebuild of the pool followed the old Waiau pool being destroyed in the November 2016 earthquake with efforts to rebuild it making national headlines as the Waiau community and people throughout New Zealand joined forces to raise the necessary funds to help replace it.

The new pool opened on February 23, reflecting the huge effort put in by everyone from fundraisers, donators and workers, to the Waiau Pool Committee and the community. Council officers also swung in behind the project, particularly Emma Duncan who was working as Project co-ordinator within the council’s community team and also as a member of the Waiau Pool Committee.

The nomination is in a Social Well-being category with the criteria being a project that enhances the social well-being of its community, demonstrating strong community involvement and improved integration of information, service delivery and processes to ensure the organisation is responsive, and citizen-centric.

Council chief executive Hamish Dobbie says its great to see the Mainpower Waiau Community Pool, recognised as a finalist and the superb leadership shown by the Waiau community in getting the project up and running.

“The council is proud to have been able to partner with the community in the delivery of this project,” he says.

The pool was a demonstration of the power of small communities, and “we couldn’t be more proud to have such people in our district”.

LGNZ President Dave Cull says being named as a finalist is a significant achievement and reflects strong leadership and the innovative work being delivered by councils across the country.

“These Excellence Awards demonstrate the value local government provides to community, economic development, infrastructure and the environment,” he says.

“The sector should be incredibly proud of its achievements as we celebrate these outstanding projects. The finalist projects are real examples of how local government delivers exemplary value and services to New Zealanders in a collaborative and inclusive way.”

Judges for the awards are former Wellington Mayor Dame Kerry Prendergast, distinguished diplomat and public servant Sir Maarten Wevers, and Executive Director of the New Zealand Initiative, Dr Oliver Hartwich.

Category winners will be announced in Wellington on July 8.