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Rotorua District Council clean bill of health

Auditor-General gives Rotorua District Council clean bill of health

ROTORUA 21.10.09: The Office of the Auditor-General has today given Rotorua District Council a clean bill of health for its annual report on the 2008/09 financial year.

The Auditor-General’s endorsement was presented at a special council meeting this afternoon before formal adoption of the annual report by the mayor and councillors.

Ben Halford from Audit New Zealand said the council had been given an “unqualified opinion” which he described as the “ideal” position.

“Well done to your management and staff, and thank you Peter (Guerin),” he said addressing the meeting.

Mayor Kevin Winters said the council, chief executive Peter Guerin and staff had achieved very positive results for the community and the Auditor-General’s audit report was confirmation of that.

“It’s fair to say that Rotorua has been well-served over the last 12 months by its local council and we’ve been able to substantially deliver the programmes we promised for the year, largely on time and within budget.

“The council now looks after $880 million worth of assets and so we can all be proud of this very good result,” he said.

Peter Guerin said that the year had involved some of the largest infrastructural programmes ever undertaken in Rotorua including complex lakeside community sewerage schemes and the recent airport runway extensions. He said the museum and library expansions were also part of the ambitious work programme during the year as was construction of the council’s successful new customer centre.

“We’ve been fortunate to have effective partnerships with the likes of central government, philanthropic organisations, local businesses and other councils to achieve the year’s busy programme without the need for large increases in the amount of general rates collected.

“A concentrated effort to reduce costs across the organisation has resulted in significant savings, particularly in the area of procurement of goods and services.

“We’ve achieved a surplus for the year that is $3 million ahead of budget, and our debt levels at around $100 million are $32 million below forecast.

“This is particularly pleasing given the global recession which we started to feel the effects of during this period. I’m especially proud of the huge efforts and superb results achieved by our staff under very demanding conditions,” said Mr Guerin.

ENDS

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