Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Focus on lifting governance and financial performance

Local government focus on lifting governance and financial performance

Without good governance no organisation can hope to succeed. At the annual Local Government New Zealand conference, the delegates discussed ways to improve the governance and financial performance within their organisations.

At a session entitled “Lifting governance and financial performance,” speakers teamed up today to discuss ways to lift the game in the local government sector. The session highlighted examples from three sectors. Andrew McKenzie, Chief Financial Officer of Auckland Council spoke from local government’s point of view; Arihia Bennett, Chief Executive Officer of Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu represented Iwi views; and Craig Stobo, Chair of the Local Government Funding Agency and AIG talked from a private sector perspective.

The key message was that governance not only sets the direction for an organisation, through the articulation of goals and objectives, but it also ensures that institutional structures and the allocation of resources are aligned to the achievement of those goals and objectives.

The presenters, who have all worked on transforming the quality of governance and financial performance, shared some of the critical steps in their organisation's journey to achieve effective outcomes and the learnings that have resulted.

Ms Bennett said that Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu had a governance change in 2011 when it introduced two new senior committees, one for external communications and one for internal.

“This allowed our directors to be more deeply engaged with tribal matters and refocus efforts. We also developed governance capability because we want people to be the best they can, be engaged at the flax root with communities and know what to do in terms of governing. Governance requires specific generic competencies such as those the Institute of Directors promotes, and for us it is important we include tribal nuances and significant cultural leader practices.”

Mr Stobo said that the Local Government Funding Agency had lent more than $3.7 billion to councils since its establishment in December 2011. With 18 per cent of its funders based overseas, the Agency sees strong demand for investment in New Zealand local government.

“For good governance, it is important that we have a majority of independent directors with diversity of location and skills, and that all conflicts of interest are declared. We have a shareholder council that provides guidance and encourages accountability for our board members,” Mr Stobo says.

“Directors need to understand their roles for good governance, to know when to pull back and to entrust their management, seeking results while ensuring regular reporting. It is also important to adapt to change.”

Mr McKenzie said that when it was established, Auckland Council introduced reporting frameworks so that every month councillors would get a performance-focused report on what was happening across the Council.

“We established some basic financial parametres to report to that helped us with planning and delegations. Our auditor relationship is really important, we’ve made it a strong partnership,” Mr McKenzie said.

“We set up a concept of executive governance so that if you worked as leader in Auckland Council at any tier, you had to take responsibility for performance across the whole of Council.”

Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) President Lawrence Yule says the sector knows that in order to deliver strong local government across New Zealand, we need to continue to raise our standards of governance and performance.

“While there are many strong performers we need to lift the bar higher. In March 2014 LGNZ launched EquiP, our Centre of Excellence, to deliver tailored services, best practice guidance, business solutions, governance and management support to strengthen the sector,” Mr Yule says.

“We are leading and supporting our members to improve governance and performance.”

This session was kindly sponsored by PwC.

The 2014 LGNZ Conference takes place 20-22 July at Nelson, with more than 550 local government delegates attending to take part in master class sessions, hear presentations from high profile speakers about significant issues and opportunities facing the sector. The theme of the conference is Powering Local Economies, Building Vibrant Communities.

*Ends*


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Patience: Drive Safe

Be patient before passing is the AA's message for drivers this Labour weekend.

"People taking crazy risks to get past other vehicles is one of the most dangerous things on the road,” says AA spokesperson Dylan Thomsen.

“The weather is looking good for the long weekend so the roads will be busy. Unfortunately, that also increases the chances of people getting frustrated and trying a risky passing manoeuvre. When they get past, there will probably be more traffic up ahead anyway so it won’t get people there faster.” More>>

 
 

Parliament Today:

Employment Relations Bill: Govt Strains To Get Tea Break Law Through

The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says. More>>

ALSO:

Guns: Police Association Call To Arm Police Full Time

"The new minister gave his view, that Police do not need to be armed, while standing on the forecourt of parliament. The dark irony was that the interview followed immediately after breaking news of a gunman running amok in the Canadian parliament in Ottawa..." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Tokenism Of New Zealand's Role Against Islamic State

Our contribution against IS will be to send SAS forces to train the Iraqis? That’s like offering trainers to General Custer just as the 7th cavalry reached the Little Big Horn. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Shell And Todd Caught Drilling Without Approval

Multi-national oil company Shell’s New Zealand arm and local energy giant Todd Energy have breached the new law governing New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone, the Environmental Protection Authority says in an Oct. 10 document released by the Green Party. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Pharmac, Gough Whitlam And Sleater-Kinney

We’re not at the outset of these negotiations. The outset was six years ago, and negotiators were hoping to have some sort of ‘framework’ deal finished in time for the APEC meeting in a few weeks’ time. These ‘extreme’ positions are what we’ve reached near the intended end of the negotiations… More>>

ALSO:

PM Of Many Hats: Questions, No Answers On Whale Oil

Dr RUSSEL NORMAN (Co-Leader – Green) to the Prime Minister: How many times since November 2008 has he spoken with blogger Cameron Slater on the phone and how many times, if any, has he texted him?
Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister): None in my capacity as Prime Minister. More>>

ALSO:

Aussie Investigation Dropped: Call On Minister McCully To Pursue The Case Of Balibo Five

West Papua Action is deeply concerned at the lack of any clear outcome from the Australian Federal Police inquiry into the 1975 deaths of the ‘Balibo Five’ including NZ journalist Gary Cunningham. More>>

ALSO:

'Feed The Kids' Bill: Metiria Turei To Lead Fight On Feeding Hungry Children

Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Today: State Opening Of Parliament

The House sat at 10.30am on Tuesday before MPs were summoned to hear the Speech from the Throne in the Legislative Council Chamber. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news