Auckland Council has scooped the prestigious Supreme Award at the 2019 McGredy Winder SOLGM Local Government Excellence awards.
The Kia Puāwai programme to improve employment opportunities for contact centre staff in south Auckland triumphed over 32 other entries to secure the award.
The entry also won the Capability Group Award for Innovation in Organisation and People Development.
The programme, delivered in partnership with the Manukau office of WINZ and Māori training provider, The Solomon Group, offers not just a job for Auckland Council contact centre staff but the prospect of a career.
It was praised by judges as an inspirational example of a successful cross-sectorial collaboration.
“Kia Puāwai has provided life-changing opportunities for the graduates, a reliable source of motivated staff for the contact centre, and sustainable benefits for south Auckland," said Raymond Horan, SOLGM’s chief advisor.
“This joining-up of capabilities shows the benefits of how local leadership and local action can transcend economic and social barriers.”
Auckland Council Chief executive Stephen Town said, “Transforming the well-being of citizens is a core responsibility for Auckland Council and we’re delighted our Kia Puawai initiative has been recognised nationally. Our staff’s leadership and collaboration has been outstanding.”
Customer Services general manager Nigel King added, “This award recognises the real difference this programme has made in people’s lives.
"It confirms the importance of our move to South Auckland, and the partnership we have with the Solomon Group and Work and Income NZ. It’s a great example of what can be achieved when people collaborate.”
The council was also judged as highly commended in the LGFA Transforming Service Delivery category for their Enterprise Booking System for regional parks.
The project involved the move of more than 90 accommodation facilities to an online environment, plus the associated training, customer service and customer educations programmes.
Judges praised it as a near textbook example of a successful transformation project.