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WTF campaign up for excellence award

The controversial WTF Tairawhiti campaign has won Gisborne District Council a finalist place in the Local Government New Zealand Excellence Awards.

The campaign What’s The Future is a play on an acronym which more commonly means What the F*&%.

It has been named a finalist in the community engagement category.

The slogan has increased community engagement by 700 percent even though some residents were opposed to it because of the inference to the colloquial meaning of WTF.

GDC customer engagement manager Anita Reedy-Holthausen said they had set out to engage our community in a fresh, fun way, not to win an award.

“But we are stoked to be a finalist. I am so proud of the effort and enthusiasm my amazing team put into this. We are fortunate to have a progressive chief executive who backed us to do the WTF campaign.”

The LGNZ awards is in its fifth year. It recognises the key leadership roles local government play in communities around the country.

The aim of the WTF campaign was to ignite community interest in helping develop the direction of GDC’s 2018-2028 long-term plan.

Traditional methods, such as holding evening meetings, were not working, so the council took an innovative approach, resulting in a 700 percent increase in early engagement.

The full name of the campaign is What’s the Future Tairawhiti?

LGNZ judges praised the project for its innovative, edgy engagement, widening the participation from different communities and demographics, including youth and Maori.

LGNZ president Dave Cull said being named a finalist was a significant achievement and reflected strong leadership and the innovative work being delivered by councils across the country.

This year saw the highest number of entries in awards history.

Winners will be announced at the LGNZ conference dinner in Christchurch on July 16.

Gisborne District Council’s 2018 LTP consultation document WTF? - What’s the Future Tairawhiti? has been announced the winner of the 2018 Society of Local Government Managers’ Great Consultation Document Competition . . . the third accolade for the council’s long-term plan early engagement campaign in the past month. Gisborne District Council file picture