25 Jul 2019
Nominated by Wellington City Council, Visa Wellington on a Plate has won the Creative New Zealand EXCELLENCE Award for Cultural Well-being at this year’s Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) Conference.
The 2019 winners were announced at the Fulton Hogan conference dinner and EXCELLENCE Awards function in Wellington on Monday, 8 July. The LGNZ EXCELLENCE awards recognise and celebrate local councils’ work in promoting and growing the well-being of their communities.
“This year’s winners show the integral role that culture plays in all of our communities,” said Creative New Zealand senior manager for advocacy, David Pannett. “Culture is the expression of our identity – through the arts, creativity, food, storytelling, and more.”
Visa Wellington on a Plate is New Zealand’s largest culinary festival celebrating food, community and culture. Judges praised the council’s leadership of Visa Wellington on a Plate “to continue to evolve and grow the multi-day festival that is popular with its community and visitors from outside the region”.
Cultural well-being also featured in other winning projects. The overall Fulton Hogan Local EXCELLENCE Award was won by Gisborne District Council for Tupapa, Our Stand Our Story. The bilingual, multimedia heritage experience tells the stories of tangata whenua within the local landscape, and was created collaboratively between the four Turanga iwi – Ngati Oneone, Rongowhakaata, Te Aitanga a Mahaki and Ngai Tamanuhiri – and Gisborne District Council.
The Tupapa project was also highly commended in the Cultural Well-being section.
The LGNZ EXCELLENCE Award for Social Well-being was won by Palmerston North City Council for the city’s Festival of Cultures. The Festival is an annual event showcasing and celebrating diversity in the community through music, film, performance, cultural dress, craft, and food. The week-long programme of cultural activities is run in collaboration with more than 60 community groups, and attracts over 25,000 people.
LGNZ President Dave Cull said the judges commended all the finalists in the awards and said there were more high-quality entries in the LGNZ Excellence Awards this year than ever before.
“Overall the judges felt the strongest entries demonstrated strong leadership and proven results over long periods of time, and particularly noted those with a strong strategic vision and a focus on delivery. The winners and highly commended entries are exceptional projects which are having a profound effect on the well-being of their communities.”