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Source: Auckland Council

Auckland Council picked up a surprise award at the 2021 Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) EXCELLENCE Awards for the council’s extraordinary contribution during the COVID-19 response.

Auckland Council was presented with the Te Tari Taiwhenua Internal Affairs EXCELLENCE Award for Outstanding Contribution to Local Government. This is the first time this award has been given to an organisation, as it is usually presented to an individual for their outstanding contribution to the local government sector over their career.

Mayor Phil Goff says he was proud to receive the award on behalf of Auckland Council.

“Auckland Council staff have played an important role throughout the COVID-19 response,” he says.

“Council librarians made thousands of well-being calls to elderly people living alone, our catering staff provided meals for the homeless, and we organised the distribution of tens of thousands of support packages to people in need.

“In addition, council staff ensured that essential services such as rubbish and recycling collections continued to run throughout the lockdown.

“Together with Aucklanders and New Zealanders, we came together to effectively eliminate COVID-19 from our community, helping to make our country one of the safest in the world.”

Auckland Council’s Chief Executive Jim Stabback says, “This is recognition of the incredible work our employees at the council and Aucklanders put in, first to respond and then to recover from the impacts of COVID-19.”

LGNZ’s National Council members were impressed with the way the council kept communities safe during lockdowns as well as with the role Tāmaki Makaurau has played in New Zealand’s recovery.

The thing that stood out the most to the LGNZ National Council members was the way our region kept the rest of the country safe while acting as the gateway between Aotearoa and the rest of the world. Auckland was and is the main port where returning Kiwis come home and vital goods come in and out of the country.

Mayor Phil Goff at the awards event