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The Thames-Coromandel District Council’s Coromandel Electric Vehicle Touring Loop includes a network of fast-charging stations at key points around the Coromandel, which puts the entire district within range of electric vehicle travel

Two transport-focused projects finalists in LGNZ EXCELLENCE Awards

Two projects delivering significant transport benefits are finalists in the 2019 Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) EXCELLENCE Awards.


The awards, now in their sixth year, recognise and celebrate the key leadership role local government plays within communities around the country. 

Opening up the Coromandel to electric vehicles

The Thames-Coromandel District Council’s ‘Coromandel Electric Vehicle Touring Loop’ is a finalist in the EXCELLENCE Award for Environmental Well-being, and includes a network of fast-charging stations at key points around the Coromandel, which puts the entire district in range of electric vehicle travel. The charging stations encourage more people to think about going electric, and for those who have already done so to explore or visit the district.

The Environmental Well-being award recognises projects that enhance the environmental well-being of their community; criteria include demonstrating a sustainable process with durable results, and/or making significant improvements in health and safety. 

The judges praised Thames-Coromandel District Council’s leadership of the Coromandel Electric Vehicle Touring Loop project, commending it for “getting ahead of the game to futureproof its district for electric vehicles while promoting it as a branded tourism route”.

Key arterial route

Hastings City Council’s ‘Te Ara Kahikatea – Whakatu Arterial Link’ is a finalist in the EXCELLENCE Award for Economic Well-being. This project comprised the construction of an arterial route improving the district’s economic and social well-being, following extensive community consultation.

The Economic Well-being award is for a project that enhances the economic well-being of its community; criteria include that it is responsible for sustained improvements in performance while building organisational capability, and/or demonstrates strong adaptive ability to ensure effective performance in different contexts over time. 

The Whakatu Arterial Link route is nearly 4 km long, built on a greenfields stretch that is home to Maori-owned land, commercial orchards and a culturally significant waterway. Added to the challenge, the route is criss-crossed by infrastructure including rail, cycle paths and existing roads, on soil protected by legislation.

Planning for the Whakatu Arterial Link route included stakeholders from Hastings City Council, local iwi and industry representatives

There are 9000 vehicles using the new road each day, 1200 of which are heavy vehicles. The new route has resulted in significantly less heavy vehicles using a previous access route on a residential street. The route also encourages economic development, and a new wet industry commercial operation has now been constructed in the processing zone.

The judges praised the council for its “willingness to learn and adapt its processes to meet the needs of its community while designing a large piece of infrastructure” and its “commendable and genuine” engagement with mana whenua.

Value provided

LGNZ president Dave Cull says being named as a finalist in the awards 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,” says Mr Cull. “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 at a gala dinner during the LGNZ Conference, to be held in Wellington on 8 July 2019.

For a full list of finalists, visit www.lgnz.co.nz

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