Ten Kiwi organisations have been recognised for their outstanding contribution to the wellbeing and the prosperity of their communities. Economic Development New Zealand (EDNZ), a not-for-profit which champions organisations and individuals who stimulate economic wellbeing and inclusive growth, announced the awards at its annual conference in Blenheim last weekend.
The conference theme “delivering inclusive growth” drew speakers including former Prime Minister, Rt Hon Helen Clark and Administrator of the United National Development Programme, who focused on the importance of balancing economic growth, social wellbeing and income equality.
“The impressive line-up of speakers covered a wide range of issues impacting on New Zealand’s wellbeing and quality of life,” says EDNZ Chairperson and Awards Judge Pam Ford. “One theme that came through strongly was the importance of investing in workforce training to improve productivity, rather than the traditional thinking of viewing staff development as a cost.”
She says the ten award winners “reflect the importance of this inclusive approach and have been honoured for their best practice initiatives and projects which have had a real and positive impact on the wellbeing and prosperity of our communities and regions.”
The winners of the EDNZ 2019 Best Practice Awards include:
Marlborough Smart+Connected Economic and Community Development Programme: Best Practice Award for Inclusive Growth and winner of the EDNZ 2019 Best Practise Premier Award
“The Marlborough Smart+Connected programme was seen as an early adopter of two critical elements of contemporary Economic Development theory – first, a focus on environmental, social and governance (ESG) outcomes as well as economic objectives; and second a focus on inclusivity and participation by industries and communities in structured co-design processes. The programme places Marlborough District Council at the forefront of inclusive growth practice in New Zealand”, says Chair of EDNZ, Pam Ford.
Neil Henry, Council’s Strategic Planning & Economic Development Manager, said it was an honour to accept the award.
“A lot of hard work has gone into this programme by hundreds of people since its inception in 2013. Smart+Connected has proven to be highly effective, allowing for sustained investment into initiatives that empower our local industries and communities.”
The programme’s successes so far include:
- Picton Smart+Connected was instrumental in creating the annual Cruise Ship Think Tank, the Picton to Waikawa Marina to Marina walk/cycle track and the inaugural Picton Matariki Festival in 2018.
- The Smart+Connected Aquaculture Group initiated the development of the CFarmX blue mussel processing facility. Historically, blue mussels were a zero-value byproduct of greenshell mussel farming.
- Following a submission by the Labour and Skills Smart+Connected Group to Immigration New Zealand, Marlborough was recognised as a labour region in its own right, with unique challenges.
Further details are also attached in the EDNZ media release.