New Council Assessments Show Councils Performing Strongly
New council assessments show councils performing strongly
The second round of council assessments through the local government excellence programme CouncilMARK™ have been released and include the programme’s first AA rating.
Reports for a further eight councils from across New Zealand to have been assessed under the programme are being released today, following the first six released in July.
Eighteen councils from around New Zealand signed up as Foundation Councils to be the first to go through the assessment process, with all expected to be complete by the end of 2017.
The CouncilMARK™ Independent Assessment Board is today releasing reports for the following councils:
Waimakariri District Council, Hastings District Council, Nelson City Council, Masterton District Council, South Taranaki District Council, Far North District Council, Waikato Regional Council and Whakatane District Council. The reports and more information on CouncilMARK™ can be found here.
The AA rating – the system’s second top – was achieved by Waimakariri District Council. There was a generally good standard of performance throughout the councils assessed.
While each report reflects the different issues and circumstances faced by councils, common findings include that sound governance correlates with good overall performance and that financial planning is generally prudent.
Reports also found councils could see improvement in a number of ways including through stronger definition of the roles of governance and management, by embedding stronger risk management and strengthening relationships with Māori/Iwi.
LGNZ President Dave Cull says CouncilMARK™ offers councils and communities an independent assessment of how a council is performing, including areas of excellence and where it could find gains.
“CouncilMARK™ provides incredibly valuable information that can help councils with how they operate, what they’re getting right and where they could afford to put greater energy. And it gives communities the same information, allowing them an independent view of the work their local councils are doing,” Mr Cull says.
“As a sector we understand we need to constantly show and grow our performance, and CouncilMARK™ offers an excellent opportunity to work towards that. LGNZ congratulates all councils to have participated in the programme so far and looks forward to year two.”
The Independent Assessment Board which oversees CouncilMARK™ will shortly be calling for expressions of interest for the second year of the programme.
CouncilMARK™ Independent Assessment Board releases new council reports
The Independent Assessment Board which oversees the local government excellence programme CouncilMARK™ has today released the second set of council assessments and ratings.
IAB Chair Toby Stevenson says CouncilMARK™ reports measure indicators across leadership, finance, asset management, service delivery and community engagement for nine councils. The new reports are for the following councils:
Waimakariri District Council, Rangitikei District Council, Hastings District Council, Nelson City Council, Masterton District Council, South Taranaki District Council, Far North District Council, Waikato Regional Council and Whakatane District Council. All reports and more information on CouncilMARK™ can be found here.
CouncilMARK™ was launched in August 2016 with 18 councils signed up for the inaugural year. The new reports follow the release of the first six in July.
Mr Stevenson says the reports are designed to give councils and communities an informed and independent view on how they are carrying out their roles, including on where they are excelling and areas for improvement.
“The reports have been completed by independent assessors under the direction of the board, and offer an independent assessment of each council’s performance in key areas,” Mr Stevenson says. “Reports provide valuable information to councils and communities. Measuring performance means both can assess how to better deliver ongoing and increased value to communities.”
Mr Stevenson says the focus now moves to the programme’s second year. Councils will shortly be invited to submit expressions of interest for 2017/18.
“CouncilMARK™ has been designed to improve the public's knowledge of the work councils are doing in their communities and to support individual councils to further improve the service and value they provide to all New Zealanders,” he says.
“The more councils to embark on this process, the greater its impact will be for the whole sector and New Zealand as a whole. I urge all councils to consider getting involved.”
CouncilMARK™ is a system designed by the local government sector to show and grow the value of local government in New Zealand.
Established in response to reputation research which showed an opportunity for local government improvement, CouncilMARK measures indicators across leadership, finance, service delivery and community engagement to highlight both the good and the areas for progress, and chart a way forward for local government improvement. Participating councils are assessed by independent experts every three years, given an overall rating from triple AAA to C, and the results publicised.
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About LGNZ and local government in New Zealand
Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) is the peak body representing New Zealand's 78 local, regional and unitary authorities. LGNZ advocates for local democracy, develops local government policy, and promotes best practice and excellence in leadership, governance and service delivery. Through its work strengthening sector capability, LGNZ contributes to the economic success and vibrancy of communities and the nation.
The local government sector plays an important role. In addition to giving citizens a say in how their communities are run, councils own a broad range of community assets worth more than $120 billion. These include 90 per cent of New Zealand's road network, the bulk of the country's water and waste water networks, and libraries, recreation and community facilities. Council expenditure is approximately $8.5 billion dollars, representing approximately 4 per cent of Gross Domestic Product and 11 per cent of all public expenditure.
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