A highly valued team member at Tararua District Council and an innovative project were recognised at this year’s Association of Local Government Information Management (ALGIM) Awards.
Announced at the ALGIM Autumn Conference in Wellington, the awards recognise and celebrate best practice in GIS and Information and Record Management amongst New Zealand local authorities.
Their aim is to encourage local body staff to be innovative and to grow and be recognised in supporting their organisation and community projects.
Violet Christison, IT Projects, Tararua District Council, was named IRM (Information and Records Management) Professional of the Year 2018.
Described as someone who "epitomises all that makes up a top performing individual", Violet has held many roles since she first joined the Tararua District Council in 1988.
Not only highly respected by her work colleagues and for her work practices, Violet is also held in high regard by ALGIM and her peers at other councils and service providers.
Violet said being recognised by her peers and named IRM Professional of the Year was both a surprise and a shock, which very nearly reduced her to tears as she got up to receive her award.
Thanking those who were there for her, who supported her and provided her with opportunities throughout her career, Violet described her nomination as a complete surprise and "a very well-kept secret".
Joy Kopa, Tararua District Council Records and Information Manager, also had reason to celebrate, achieving an outstanding result for her Pahiatua photographic preservation project, which was awarded runner-up (second place) in the Project of the Year for Records Management.
The project to preserve the photographic history of the two Pahiatua Councils – Borough and County – was an opportunity to not just tell the story of these two councils, but ensure the story would endure.
The photographs involved were the originals and had never been copied or digitised before.
Peter Wimsett, Manager Strategy and District Development said Joy and the team had elevated the project to be more than a simple "restoration project".
"They involved the community, respected its history and represented Council’s care for a community.
"It became something that was important to people that stretched well beyond the bounds of our district. It mended lingering strains from the 1989 amalgamations."
Mr Wimsett said the takeaway for all councils is that: something done well for a community can heal the past.
All the photographs have now been digitised and protected for perpetuity, with the originals being held in Archives Central (Tararua District Council’s archive repository).
The conference judges noted the work "was a project with heart, which went beyond the size and cost of the project."
Council’s third nomination, The Time of the Drone is NOW, was entered in the GIS Project of the Year category. Although, not an award winner the project did attract a lot of interest and made it into the top three finalists, a great achievement in itself.