Council efforts recognised

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Recognition ... Kaikoura Mayor Winston Gray addresses the audience after his council was recognised with two local government awards. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

By DAVID HILL

Local government efforts to restore the Kaikoura Harbour within 12 months of the November 2016 earthquake have been recognised.

The Kaikoura District Council and Environment Canterbury were nationally recognised for their joint efforts in the Kaikoura Harbour Remediation Project at the New Zealand Society of Local Government Managers Awards this month.

The two councils jointly won the BERL collaborative government action award, which recognises outstanding results achieved through local authorities working with other government agencies.

The Kaikoura council was also recognised for a project that brought local businesses together to provide catering for workers with the North Canterbury Transport Infrastructure Recovery (NCTIR) alliance living in a village setup.

Mayor Winston Gray said he was proud of the awards.

“Both projects are great examples of council and business working with the community to create positive and problem-solving solutions, as well as social and financial opportunity and prosperity.

“We are all proud of the projects, the people who helped make them a reality, and the awards they won.”

The catering project won the Giblin Group innovation in council-community relations award, which recognises initiatives showing community engagement and empowerment in an innovative way.

The multimillion dollar contract resulted in catering being provided for up to 300 workers helping to rebuild the road and rail corridor after the 2016 earthquakes.

NCTIR project director Brian Kirtlan says the alliance, which employed more than 1700 workers at its peak, prioritised working closely with the Kaikoura community to ensure the project directly supported economic and social recovery through a “locals first” approach.

The Kaikoura council’s economic recovery leader, Mel Skinner, said the catering project allowed businesses to remain open and retain staff.

“This in turn, encouraged residents to stay in the community.”

The November 2016 earthquake resulted in the seabed of Kaikoura’s South Bay Harbour lifting by up to two metres in places, rendering the harbour largely unusable and posing a significant risk to tourism and fishing.

Working together with Ngai Tahu, local tourism operators, the NCTIR alliance and other government agencies, the harbour was restored to better than before and officially opened on the first anniversary of the earthquake on November 14 last year.

“The success of this project was thanks to a collaborative effort from everyone involved,” ECan chief executive Bill Bayfield said.

“If it weren’t for the efforts of all of these agencies willing to work together, we couldn’t have achieved this.”