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


Latest CouncilMARK™ Report Digs Into Regional Council Operations And Culture

The CouncilMARK™ Independent Assessment Board (IAB) has released their latest report, on the performance of Bay of Plenty Regional Council, finding an organisation with some of the strongest iwi co-governance arrangements of any council and a cohesive culture among both councillors and staff that is driving solutions for the region’s challenges.

CouncilMARK™ is an independent assessment programme that assesses how councils are performing and is designed to support individual councils to improve the service and value they provide. Councils receive an overall performance rating from the Independent Assessment Board, from C to AAA, as well as commentary on their performance.

In awarding the regional council a ‘BBB’ grade, the IAB has praised the regional council for their strong spirit of public service, the operation of their ‘Quayside’ investment company and diversification of investment, and their ambitious programme of environment improvement.

At the same time, the IAB has highlighted that a number of areas that can be improved, even where the council are currently finding success.

“Bay of Plenty Regional has three really big things going for it. They’ve got an experienced and balanced team of elected members, they’ve got competent staff who are motivated to serve the public, and they’ve got some of the strongest partnerships with iwi that we’ve seen,” says CouncilMARK™ IAB Chair Toby Stevenson.

“The Quayside investment arm is doing a great job managing their assets and they’re investing regionally, for example in Ōpōtiki Wharf, and research, innovation and education facilities in Tauranga.”

“The next step for the council is to increase their performance measurement and accountability to further show ratepayers what they are getting for their rates. They should look at the desired risk and return profile of their investments including Quayside Holdings. Yes they are doing well financially, but strong investment risk analysis is recommended to ensure that this continues.”

Relationships between the Regional Council and iwi are vital, as the Bay of Plenty region is home to 39 iwi and 260 hapū, with 26 per cent of the population identifying as Māori.

Acknowledging this, Bay of Plenty Regional Council has brought a multi-level approach to iwi engagement. At an elected member level the council has retained three members that are elected off the Maori roll. At a local governance level, the council has co-governance arrangements with local iwi – Rotorua Lakes for example – and at a staff level a specific Maori engagement strategy, He Korowai Mātauranga, which provides a framework for implementing Mātauranga Maori into council business and staff capacity.

“Very few councils can match Bay of Plenty’s efforts in partnering with local iwi, and they should be an example for all other councils,” continued Mr Stevenson.

The Bay of Plenty is a large environmental catchment, and includes a coastal marine area of almost 10,000km2, eight major rivers, five large estuaries, two harbours and the Rotorua Lakes.

The report notes that the sheer size and complexity of the area means that for the council to get the greatest benefit from their limited resource, more risk-based assessment is needed.

“We think there is a benefit in the council targeting their limited resource to specific risks and time periods that affect the water quality in the region, for example increasing compliance efforts during periods of high rainfall. A risk based approach would help them predict when and where breaches will occur.”

“Of course these suggestions are changes in the margins, but when we’re talking about implementing long-term environmental change, every little bit of improved practice helps. Overall the council is doing a good job and the community should be pleased with their CouncilMARK™ report result,” concluded Mr Stevenson.

The report can be found at www.councilmark.co.nz.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Demise Of The Tokyo Olympics

As the Covid vaccines roll out around the world, the Tokyo Olympics are looming as a major test of when (and whether) something akin to global normality can return – to international travel, to global tourism, to professional sport and to mass gatherings of human beings. Currently though, it looks like a forlorn hope that Japan will be able to host the Olympics in late July. Herd immunity on any significant scale seems possible only by December 2021, at the earliest... More>>


Oranga Tamariki: Chief Executive Grainne Moss Steps Down

Controversial Oranga Tamariki chief executive Grainne Moss has decided to step down. More>>


USA: Prime Minister Congratulates President Joe Biden On His Inauguration

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated President Joe Biden on his inauguration as the 46th President of the United States of America. “I look forward to building a close relationship with President Biden and working with him on issues that matter ... More>>


New Zealand Government: Cook Islanders To Resume Travel To New Zealand

The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern and the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Mark Brown have announced passengers from the Cook Islands can resume quarantine-free travel into New Zealand from 21 January, enabling access to essential services such ... More>>


A New Year: No politicians at Rātana in 2021

Annual celebrations at Rātana pā will be different this year, amid a decision to hold an internal hui for church adherents only… More>>


Government: New Public Housing Plan Announced

RT HON JACINDA ARDERN HON DR MEGAN WOODS The Government has released its Public Housing Plan 2021-2024 which outlines the intention of where 8,000 additional public and transitional housing places announced in Budget 2020, will go. “The Government ... More>>

Government: Pre-Departure Testing Extended To All Passengers To New Zealand

To further protect New Zealand from COVID-19, the Government is extending pre-departure testing to all passengers to New Zealand except from Australia, Antarctica and most Pacific Islands, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. More>>


Covid: Border Exception for 1000 International Students

The Government has approved an exception class for 1000 international tertiary students, degree level and above, who began their study in New Zealand but were caught offshore when border restrictions began....More>>





InfoPages News Channels