This year the Awards attracted a good number of entries from a large range of organisations. The winning and nominated projects showed that public sector innovation is making a real difference to the lives of New Zealanders.
Prime Ministers Award for Public Sector Excellence and Excellence in Crown-Maori Relationships Award – Te Urewera-DOC Tuhoe Partnership
Working collaboratively, the Department of Conservation (DOC) and Tūhoe implemented ground-breaking new Treaty settlement legislation, which granted Te Urewera legal personhood. The former national park, comprising over 2,000 square kilometres of native forest, has the same rights and powers as a citizen – a first for New Zealand. This has led to more Tūhoe employed in Te Urewera, more visitors to Te Urewera, and innovative DOC practices, including secondments with Te Uru Taumatua.
Young Professional of the Year Award – Genevieve Rainey – Solicitor - DOC
Genevieve has made an outstanding contribution over her two years at DOC through all Resource Management Act (RMA) litigation she has been involved with, winning all resource consent cases, including protection of dusky dolphin habitat. All RMA consents were secured for mouse eradication on sub-antarctic islands and protection of significant biodiversity values in the Mackenzie Basin. Genevieve designed and implemented a new legal compliance audit system for DOC, and encouraged managers’ participation that provided a robust set of data for health and safety and general legal compliance.