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Waipā District Council, Belle PR and Beca awarded Supreme Winner at 2022 PRINZ Awards

Waipā District Council, Belle PR, and Beca were awarded Supreme Winner for their entry ‘What’s next Waipā?’ at the 2022 annual PRINZ Awards gala dinner held in Auckland on Friday, 20 May 2022.

The ‘What’s next Waipā?’ ‘campaign flipped a routine legislative consultative process on its head and embarked on 17 months of targeted, innovative community relations work, inspiring Waipā residents to share their needs and wants for their district and engage in the development of Council’s 2021-2031 Long Term Plan. The campaign also won Gold in the Community Relations and Engagement category. 

PRINZ Awards Chief Judges, Denise Mackay FPRINZ, APR and Andrew Pirie, FPRINZ said this was a creative two-way communication programme that resulted in record engagement for Waipā.

“When tasked with managing public consultation on a council’s long-term plan, many communications practitioners would be tempted to just “go through the motions” with a conventional approach. The judges were impressed at the innovative yet highly disciplined way the Waipā District Council team sought to address a well-known national issue – getting the community engaged in local government planning.  

Supported by a strategy that put listening ahead of speaking and implemented through a range of inventive communications and engagement techniques (Councillor Speed Dating anyone?) implemented in a Covid-19 environment, the team delivered results not only for the Council, but importantly, for the Waipā community.”

The judges were impressed by the depth of planning involved to reach hard-to-engage community segments, as well as the detailed focus on results – even down to measuring the numbers of ice creams and sausages the community consumed as indicators of engagement! 

“The project easily exceeded the Council’s expectations on engagement and participation. Perhaps the most significant outcome is how this work has become an exemplar for other councils across the motu to consider when it comes to enhancing community buy-in.”

Winners of the PR Consultancy of the Year categories and the new PR In-house team of the Year categories were also announced at the Gala Dinner. Wanaka based agency Scope Media won PR Consultancy of the Year in the small to medium category. Senate SHJ, based in Auckland and Wellington, was named PR Consultancy of the Year in the medium to large category. 

Fire and Emergency New Zealand was awarded Communicators PR In-house Team of the Year.

The PRINZ Awards recognize excellence in the New Zealand’s public relations and communications industry, promoting continuous improvement, and celebrating best practice. This year’s awards attracted 86 entries. For the complete list of winners, click here.

Outstanding public relations professionals awarded 

The Public Relations Institute of New Zealand has also recognised excellence in the fields of public relations and communications, with the induction of six new Fellows. 

The new Fellows are: Deepti Bhargava, Lecturer, Public Relations, School of Communications, Auckland University of Technology; Allan Botica, Founder and Chairman, Botica Butler Raudon Partners; Jacky James, Managing Partner, The Shine Collective; Elaine Koller, Chief Executive, Public Relations Institute of New Zealand; Anne-Marie Robinson, Communications Manager at Terra Cat; Jacquie Walters, Owner – Walters PR. 

Fellows demonstrate a high degree of competence in the practice of public relations and are nominated based on their significant contribution to the enhancement of the public relations profession. 

The new Fellows were inducted by PRINZ Board Chair, Fiona Cassidy, at the annual PRINZ Awards gala dinner held on the 20 May 2022 in Auckland. 

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