Hawke’s Bay won big at the Local Government Funding Agency, Taituarā’s Local Government Excellence Awards, taking four of the nine awards on offer across the country. 

The Datacom Award for Transforming Service Delivery was won for Hastings District Council’s groundbreaking work in digitising its public buildings. Digital twinning is the marriage of information, engineering and operational technology. Council’s IT team have liaised with global engineering giants, WSP to employ Building Information Modelling to protect, manage, and plan for its 140 ratepayer owned property assets across the region. 

Council’s property assets and projects manager, John Jiang, points to the $6 billion replacement value of Council-owned buildings as good reason to invest in the technology. Their flagship project is Toitoi, with the adjacent nearly completed Municipal Building next on the list. “We tried to create a body double of the existing building learning from the experiences of Notre Dame and Christchurch cathedrals,” says Jiang. “We chose Toitoi as the pilot project because the building is over 100 years old and is a historical building with significant social, architectural and cultural value to the locals and nationwide.” No doubt the recent $40million sunk into Council’s two flagship assets are also top of mind. 

Digital twinning is an integrated process of uploading every aspect of a building onto a three-dimensional, real-time model. In practical terms, what this means is, if a leak springs in the bowels of Toitoi we do not need to wait for the water to seep through the floorboards before action can be taken. Nor do engineers need to routinely don high vis and hard hats to go preemptively checking for the inevitable issues old buildings always have. Rather they can remain clean and dry, checking on everything from the comfort of their desks. 

Taituarā recognised not just the convenience and innovation of this system but it’s frugality, saying the technology was a powerful tool for managing asset condition and performance, saving the community real money and providing a better long-term user experience. Mayor, Sandra Hazlehurst agrees, “We are the first council in New Zealand to employ this technology for day-to-day asset operations and management, which enables us to look after our assets to a very high standard in the most cost-effective way possible.” 

HDC’s project, It’s Flaxmere’s Time was the first ever winner of the Beca Award for Placemaking, liaising between various stakeholders in community and iwi, business and governance to develop a holistic plan for community improvement. Taituarā praised the scheme saying, “the multifaceted approach focused largely on people and human networks, not just building things.”

Wairoa District Council won the GHD Award for Environmental Leadership for its car wreckage removal project, Toi Te Whenua Manaaki Te Whenua. Stephen Douglass, GHD’s Future Communities leader said, ‘The beauty of Wairoa District Council’s mahi is in their holistic approach to the problem. By understanding that this was not just an environmental issue but a socio-economic one too, they were able to apply a whole-of-community lens to deliver immediate benefits, while fostering positive behavioural change.’

Napier District Council came top of the JLT Australasian Management Challenge, with their team, the Veronica Bells, beating groups from councils around the country They worked together to solve tasks in a simulated fast-paced virtual environment demonstrating leadership, team work and innovation. They will go on to represent New Zealand in Australia later this year in the next level of the competition.

Join the Conversation

1 Comment

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.