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Hi-tech and Flaxmere focus – two big wins for Hastings

Toitoi prohect

Toitoi: An image of the interior of the Hawke’s Bay Opera House beside a render of its “digital twin”.

A hi-tech project that will see every Hastings District Council-owned building ‘digitally twinned’ and the concerted effort by a wide-ranging partnership to uplift Flaxmere have both scored national awards this week.

The annual Taituarā Awards, recognising excellence in Local Government projects across eight categories, were announced on Wednesday afternoon.

Hastings District Council won the Datacom Award for Transforming Service Delivery for its ground-breaking digitising of public buildings. The technology allows every element of a building to be digitally recorded in 3D, giving asset managers access to every detail of a building at just one click, and enabling them to remotely monitor performance and comfortableness. It provides a vastly more efficient, effective, economic management model that streamlines processes, simplifies maintenance planning and work, and extends the life of the building through early awareness of any issues and proactive planning.

Hastings mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said the technology enabled Council to manage ratepayer-owned assets in the best way possible. “Our community owns more than 140 buildings and structures, from office buildings, libraries and community centres, to park structures, pools and heritage buildings, and we need to ensure they are monitored, maintained, protected and improved.

“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.”

The Taituarā judges said 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.

The first Hastings building to be ‘twinned’ is the opera house in Toitoi – Hawke’s Bay Arts and Events Centre, with the almost completed Municipal Building next on the list.

Hastings District Council also won the Beca Award for Placemaking for its project: It’s Flaxmere’s Time. It has pulled together multiple partners (Government, non-government, private sector, iwi and Council) to develop a programme that includes building hundreds of homes, park and playground development, expanded health, wellbeing, and sporting opportunities, and social services expansion. Underpinning the project is a kaupapa that will build pride in the suburb, and trust and engagement between the Flaxmere community and Council.

Its flaxmeres time

It’s Flaxmere’s Time: The Flaxmere playground upgrade is one of many initiatives in Flaxmere, aimed at building pride in the suburb.

The Taituarā judges said that “Hastings has actively harnessed the skills, expertise and resources of a wide range of partners  . . .  to create trust and a sense of pride in the community. The multifaceted approach focused largely on people and human networks, not just building things. This is the very definition of local place making and makes Hastings a worthy winner of this, the inaugural place making award.”

Mrs Hazlehurst said the award recognised the “importance of making changes with a community, rather than a council deciding what was best for it.

“One of the criteria is that entries must be able to be replicated across other councils. I’m absolutely convinced that this is the way forward; pulling together like-minded organisations and companies that have the same drive and vision to help Council and the community make real, sustainable change.”

Mrs Hazlehurst said the 2022 awards were an acknowledgement of all of the excellent work going on in Hawke’s Bay, noting that Wairoa had won the  GHD Award for Environmental Leadership, and Napier City Council had won the New Zealand leg of the JLT Australasian Management Challenge and would go on to represent the country in the Australasian finals.

The LGFA Supreme Award went to the Far North District Council for Te Hiku o te Ika Revitalisation Project, focused on the revitalisation of its urban areas.

26 May 2022

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