National Recognition for Len Lye Centre

22 June 2016

The Len Lye Centre is a finalist for a national award of excellence.

The “inspired decision” to create New Plymouth’s Len Lye Centre has been hailed by the Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) judges, who describe the centre as “one of the most internationally heralded arts and culture construction projects in recent years”.

The Creative New Zealand Excellence Awards, now in their third year, recognise and celebrate the outstanding leadership role local government plays within communities. New Plymouth District Council is a finalist in the Best Creative Place category for the internationally acclaimed centre at the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery.

Mayor Andrew Judd says the award recognises the contribution arts and culture initiatives can make towards creating a more prosperous town, city, district or region.

“The Len Lye Centre has been praised nationally and internationally and I’m thrilled that Local Government New Zealand has recognised not only the high calibre of the museum, but also its contribution to the wider community,” he says.

Judges praised the Len Lye Centre – which houses the collection and archive of the internationally renowned artist – as an “internationally significant place which recognises one of New Zealand’s preeminent sons”.

Judges said the centre was a wonderful partner for the Puke Ariki Museum, and acknowledged the commitment from the community in raising funds for it. Major contributions came from the TSB Community Trust, Todd Energy, Ministry for Arts Culture and Heritage, New Zealand Lottery Grants Board and private sponsors.

LGNZ President Lawrence Yule said being named as a finalist is an impressive achievement especially considering the calibre of entrants this year.

“Local government is the lifeblood of New Zealand’s communities and makes contributions to people’s lives on a daily basis,” he says.

“These Excellence Awards are a chance to celebrate the great work of local government in helping shape the places where we all live, work and play.

“The 25 finalists have demonstrated innovative, courageous and creative leadership in work that provides strong benefits to community, economic development, infrastructure, the environment and arts and culture,” says Mr Yule.

This year saw more entries than previous years, including many exceptional projects, and Mr Yule says it was pleasing to once again see a number of smaller councils featuring among the 25 finalists.

Judges for the awards are former Wellington Mayor Kerry Prendergast, Chair of EQC Sir Maarten Wevers and The New Zealand Initiative’s Executive Director, Dr Oliver Hartwich.
Category winners will be announced at a gala dinner during the LGNZ Conference, to be held in Dunedin from 24 to 26 July.