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IoD urges councillors to adopt best practice

IoD urges councillors to adopt best practice
The Institute of Directors (IoD) congratulates all mayors, councillors, and local and community board members elected today and urges them to commit to best practice governance at all times.
IoD Vice President, Michael Stiassny says “Local government plays a major part in the daily lives of every New Zealander and effective local governance is vital for the success and prosperity of our regions, and our country. All councillors need to make a commitment to best practice governance, both individually and collectively. It is absolutely essential that councils strive to ensure best practice. Every councillor needs to take responsibility to ensure they fully understand their governance role and respond to ratepayers’ expectations. They must recognise that their role as a council is to achieve the best outcomes for their community. As a director they must deliver shareholder value. This means making well-informed decisions, quality investments and wise use of the resources they are the guardians of.”
“City and district councils around New Zealand face significant challenges over their coming terms, including ageing infrastructure and populations, increasing debt and ensuring economic and social growth while balancing constituent demands to keep rates as low as possible.  These are large complex organisations that have substantial assets and responsibilities. This makes the need for effective governance even greater. As well as having great challenges, councils also have great opportunities. A commitment to effective governance will enable councils to make the best of those opportunities,” says Mr Stiassny.
“Good directors are made. Passion is a good thing but it has to be channelled into achieving the purpose of the entity. Effectiveness comes from having the right skills, experience and diversity of thought as a team.  A clear understanding of governance and management are critical to success,” he says.

“I therefore ask every councillor, regardless of whether this is the first or fifth time they have been elected, to reflect whether they have the right stuff, and if not then take steps to develop the right skills. Continuous improvement should be the goal. I believe that is the minimum expectation of ratepayers.”

Mr Stiassny says, “The IoD is an organisation committed to raising governance standards and improving performance in all areas of New Zealand business and society. We have pledged our support to Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ). We have a formal agreement in place to further develop governance capability of local authorities with a series of programmes to be launched in the new year, and are keen to assist each and every council achieve its goals with governance solutions.”


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