Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) has honoured former Southland Mayor Frana Cardno with the Skills Organisation Outstanding Contribution to Local Government award in the inaugural LGNZ EXCELLENCE Awards.
Mrs Cardno was one of New Zealand’s longest serving mayors, leading Southland District from 1992 to 2013, and is the longest serving female mayor the country has ever had.
LGNZ President Lawrence Yule says Mrs Cardno, formerly a member of LGNZ’s National Council, had an exceptionally strong commitment to her local community.
“A truly outstanding mayor, Mrs Cardno was always the champion for community boards and social issues. She was an excellent lobbyist who seemed to have open access to all ministerial officers,” Mr Yule says.
“The Southland community and wider local government sector benefitted hugely from Mrs Cardno’s work and her legacy continues to be appreciated within her community.”
Her commitment to local government and the community was recognised shortly after her retirement from more than two decades of service as mayor, when she was appointed a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to local government.
Mrs Cardno fought for equal access to libraries for everyone in Southland when she began her local government career. She was one of the leaders in the development of the Hump Ridge Track at Tuatapere which brought communities together as many volunteers pitched in and also was at the forefront of efforts to take a more collaborative approach amongst Southland councils. This led to the formation of the Shared Services Forum, where all southern councils collaborate.
After her 2013 retirement from local politics, Mrs Cardno stayed committed to local issues and was an active member of the Fiordland Conservation Trust and Save Fiordland.
Mrs Cardno was a strong champion for the involvement of women in local government. She was the first female councillor and then mayor in her district. She received a number of awards while in office, including the Jean Harris Award for the development and progress of women in society, the United Nations Certificate as an outstanding woman in local government. The Award, designed to recognise one or more individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to local government, was judged by LGNZ’s National Council.
Mrs Cardno said the award is a great honour and she is delighted.
“I have always been passionate about local government and grassroots democracy in New Zealand and I am proud to have played a role in its development, both at a local and a national level,” she said.
“It was a real honour and privilege being the mayor of Southland District and the support and friendship I received from the people of Southland have played a part in my commitment to the district.
“I am very proud to receive this award from Local Government New Zealand and I would like to thank everyone for this recognition,” Mrs Cardno said.
*This media release was provided by Local Government New Zealand