Nelson Regional Development Agency wins national award for Project Kōkiri

Nelson Regional Development Agency wins national award for Project Kōkiri

Written by Michelle Samson

Posted on Friday 28 May 2021

The Nelson Regional Development Agency (NRDA) has won the Best Practice Award for Collaboration for Project Kōkiri at the 2021 Economic Development New Zealand (EDNZ) conference held in Palmerston North last night.

The recognition is the second time in a row that NRDA has nabbed the national award after winning the collaboration category for the Nelson Tasman Innovation Neighbourhood initiative in 2019. This year, the award recognised NRDA for the development of Project Kōkiri, the response collaboration setup to navigate the economic impacts of COVID-19.

The Project Kōkiri collaboration was led by NRDA in partnership with Nelson City Council, Tasman District Council, Mana Whenua, Nelson Tasman Chamber of Commerce, and the regionally based government agencies. Formed during lockdown in 2020, the collaboration has delivered a successful 12-month recovery programme across the region including initiatives such as the We’ve Got This campaign which reached over one million people.

NRDA Chairperson Meg Matthews said that unprecedented times required unprecedented collaboration. “Project Kōkiri was formed to develop a well organised, agile and economic response across Nelson Tasman.”

“Kōkiri means to move forward together. The whole recovery has been driven by a focus on collaboration and despite the noise, uncertainty and challenges that 2020 delivered, this focus was unwavering.”

Fiona Wilson, the new Chief Executive of the Nelson Regional Development Agency, said that as someone who has just joined the region, having worked in economic development in New Zealand and abroad, this is recognition of an outstanding collaborative approach to recovery  – for the NRDA team and for the collaboration partners who made Project Kōkiri possible and drove such a significant programme of work over the past twelve months.” She added that the success of the collaboration is evident as NRDA shifts its focus from the immediate recovery to the regeneration plan for the region which will guide economic development over the next five years.  

The Economic Development New Zealand (EDNZ) Awards were held in Palmerston North on Thursday (20th May) evening. The awards celebrated best practice in economic development throughout New Zealand.

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