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Tomorrow’s Mayors

A good mayor can make a real difference!

This is the view of Margaret Evans, and with 25 years in local government – including election in 1974 as the country’s youngest councillor and later as the first woman mayor – she should know.

Ms Evans is a joint recipient of Local Government New Zealand’s Dame Catherine Tizard Scholarship for 2001 and her research topic is ‘the executive role of the mayor’.

Her work aims to determine “whether legislative definition of the role of mayor is an appropriate tool to enhance local government and to provide more effective community leadership and governance”. The research is timely, given that the role of the mayor is a topic of the current review of the Local Government Act. The findings will be published as a thesis as part of Ms Evans’ Master of Social Sciences (Public Policy) degree.

The other Scholarship recipient, Jane Legget, is undertaking a study of effective performance and accountability in local authority-funded museums. Ms Legget, a PhD student at Massey University, will use her findings to develop an integrated framework of performance indicators for museums.
Ms Legget says that currently, performance indicators for museums – where they exist – tend to focus on quantitative, rather than qualitative measures. She believes that the nature and purpose of museums, and the core concern with preserving heritage collections in perpetuity, mean that a long-term view is vital in determining successful performance.

The Dame Catherine Tizard Scholarships will be awarded on Friday 9 March at 12.00 as part of Local Government New Zealand’s National Council meeting in Wellington. Media representatives wishing to attend the luncheon should contact Sue Henaghan. Tel: (04) 470 0017, email: sueh@lgnz.co.nz.

CONTACTS:

Elizabeth Hughes, Strategy Leader, Communications, Local Government New Zealand. Tel: (04) 470 0008, fax: (04) 470 0001, email: elizabethh@lgnz.co.nz.

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