Judging Criteria: Outstanding Awards

The following criteria will be used for judging nominations in each of the above Outstanding Initiative Award categories EXCEPT the Outstanding Research, Planning, and Policy Award (see further below). A weighting of x 1.5 is applied to criteria 1-4 to reflect their greater importance.

The nominations MUST respond to each of the judging criteria under the specific headings indicated below. This helps the judges that spend their voluntary time to score the nominations.

INNOVATION (NB. x1.5): The nominated initiative is innovative and demonstrates efficiency or improvement over others that have gone before. When responding to this criteria, consider:

  • What makes it innovative

  • How it’s different from something that has been done before

  • Whether it is something completely new, something adapted from another industry or just a different approach to something from within the Recreation industry

  • What stage in the development cycle the innovation is at – operating, proven (if so how), other (if other describe)


COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT (NB. x1.5): The level of community involvement (not just user numbers) and meaningful engagement within the development and/or operation of the nominated initiative. When responding to this criteria consider:

  • Whether there has been any consultation and how it has been undertaken

  • How you identified who to consult/engage with and what their responses were

  • Whether the nominated initiative has any mana whenua/iwi partnerships, how they were established and how they are working

  • Whether the initiative uses a co-governance model, how that is intended to work and how well it is working

  • Other than use what on-going involvement does the community have with the initiative


EXCELLENCE (NB. x1.5): The nominated initiative demonstrates overall excellence and industry leadership and provides the capacity for a case study for other agencies or bodies. When responding to this criteria consider:


  • How it demonstrates overall excellence and industry leadership

  • Whether it could be scalable for bigger or smaller communities

  • What makes it stand out from what your peers are doing

  • What can the industry learn from this

  • Any awards/accolades that the initiative may have received already within or outside of the recreation industry


ACHIEVEMENT (NB. x1.5): Describe what the goals, outputs and results were projected or anticipated for the nominated initiative and how well it has done against those. Usage statistics, user satisfaction/references and outcomes are key here. When responding to this criteria consider:

  • How well the initiative aligns with any strategic documents, like 10 Year Plans, Facilities Strategies etc.

  • What the goals/ KPIs were, and if it’s not too early, to what extent have they been achieved

  • How they have been or will be measured

  • How “objective” any results are

  • Whether and how the initiative has considered diversity within your community

  • How satisfied the users are

EFFICIENCY AND EFFECTIVENESS: Efficiency and effectiveness is quantified through the provision of adequate budget details. It is not the size of the budget that is significant but the impact on your community. These details will be considered in confidence and not shared or used for any purpose other than judging of these awards. When responding to this criteria consider:

  • Whether the financial information is clear and concise

  • If the budget balances

  • If any facts and figures missing

  • Whether you can calculate a cost per user – either net or gross, or identify what percentage the nominated initiative used of your overall budget

  • If there consistency in the use of data

  • Are you achieving more with less

SUSTAINABILITY: Is the nominated initiative sustainable in the medium to long term. When responding to this criteria consider and report on all elements of sustainability that are relevant to the nominated initiative - financial, cultural, environmental and social:


  • Has funding been confirmed for the future

  • Will future revenue meet predicted expenditure such as operating/replacement costs

  • Does the initiative reflect the local cultural landscape

  • How, if at all the initiative contributes to a low carbon future

  •  Whether the resources were sourced locally

  • Did the procurement process have environmental and social elements built in

  • Whether impacts of climate change were considered

  • If consideration was given about waste, use of natural resources, water and energy use

  • Will the surrounding natural environment will benefit from the initiative

  • Have targeted communities of interest/volunteers have pledged on-going involvement

  • Whether and how the initiative contributes to community resilience

  • Will it will provide a positive impact on local neighbourhoods/communities

  • Has accessibility and intergenerational equity been addressed

Judging Criteria: Outstanding Research, Planning & Policy Award

METHODOLOGY: It must have appropriate and robust methodology including evidence of peer review. When responding to this criteria consider:


  • How to demonstrate that the process and output of the research, policy and planning nomination is "reliable"

  • The methodology/process has been undertaken in the development of this piece of work

  • How you decided what was the best approach to take

  • Whether the work been peer reviewed

APPLICATION (NB. X 1.5): It must have practical application to the recreation and leisure industry. When responding to this criteria consider:


  • How the work will it be applied and over what timeframe

  • Whether it would have relevance and could be applied in other similar communities

IMPACT: The actual and/or potential impact of the research/planning/policy. When responding to this criteria consider:

  • What the intended use for this piece of work is

  • What the intended impact was/is

  • If the work has been applied what impact there has been

  • How the impact was/ will be measured

  • Whether you got the result you were expecting

  • If not why not


INNOVATION (NB x 1.5): Degree of innovation or uniqueness. When responding to this criteria consider:

  • What it is about this piece of works that makes it innovative/unique

  • Demonstrate that this is not repeating information or research that already exists

  • Whether it is completely new

  • What makes it different from similar pieces of work - the methodology/process or something different

COST/VALUE: How does the value of the work compare to the cost of carrying it out. When responding to this criteria consider:

  • The cost of this piece of work

  • Whether it will have positive cost/impact implications for future work

  • Do you consider it to be value for money

  • If so, how do you know that


CASE STUDY: The ability to be used as a model or case study by other agencies. When responding to this criteria consider:


  • What have you learnt from this piece of work that would be interesting to others

  • Whether this piece of work could be a model for other communities or the subject of a case study

  • Whether there anything you have learned that you would do differently that others could benefit from knowing about

Individual Awards Judging Criteria