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

 

Overseas Investment: Auditor-General To Examine OIO

The Auditor-General is to examine how the Overseas Investment Office collects and manages information following a request from the parliament's finance and expenditure committee. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Bill English Living In Denial

The working poor have been a direct byproduct of the economic policies in vogue for the past 30 years or more, all over the Western world... That anger was evident in the Brexit vote, and it underlies the support for Donald Trump in the United States. More>>

ALSO:

Final Reading Of Parental Leave Bill: Families With New Babies Victims Of Veto

“For the first time ever, a Bill will have a third reading debate and no vote will be taken at the end because the National Government has used its veto – an extreme measure against families,” says the Bill’s sponsor, Labour MP Sue Moroney. More>>

ALSO:

Water, Pests, Erosion...: Commissioner Releases Mixed Report Card On Environment

The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment has released a mixed report card in her assessment of the state of New Zealand’s environment. “We are lucky to live in an exceptionally beautiful country, but we have some big issues to face up to” said Dr Jan Wright. More>>

ALSO:

Education: Private Schools Beneficiaries Of Extra Cash

“Not only did this year’s Budget freeze operational funding for state schools, but 86 per cent of secondary school principals say they don’t get enough funding, and the demand for school donations from parents is rising at 10 times the rate of inflation... Now we’ve got Hekia Parata proposing more cash for private schools." More>>

ALSO:

Shop Hours Bill Second Reading: Government Blocks Easter Trading Petition

The union representing retail workers is warning that the Government is out of touch with working people after passing the second reading of the Shop Trading Hours Amendment Bill, a law handing local authorities the power to permit trading on Easter Sunday. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news