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By ROBYN BRISTOW

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

The whole project, dubbed “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 Excellence Awards.

The rebuild of the pool, after the old Waiau pool was destroyed in the November 2016 earthquake, made national headlines when the Waiau community and people throughout New Zealand joined forces to raise the cash to replace it.

The award nomination and the new pool are a reflection of the huge effort put in by fundraisers, donors and workers in backing the Waiau Pool Committee.

Council officers also got behind the project, particularly Emma Duncan, who was working as project co-ordinator within the council’s community team and was also a member of the Waiau Pool Committee.

The nomination is in the Social Wellbeing category, with the criteria requiring a project that enhances the social wellbeing 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 it is great to see the MainPower Waiau Community Pool recognised as a finalist. The leadership shown by the Waiau community in getting the project up and running was superb, he said.

The council is proud to have been able to partner with the community in the delivery of the 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”.

Local Government New Zealand president Dave Cull says being named as a finalist in the awards is a significant achievement.

“These 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 the executive director of the New Zealand Initiative, Dr Oliver Hartwich.

Category winners will be announced in Wellington on July 8.