LGNZ are praising the latest council to receive their second CouncilMARK™ report, saying that the Far North District Council’s approach to the programme shows the huge benefits that it can drive for councils, communities and ratepayers.
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.
“Far North District Council has been very deliberate in charting a trajectory for improvement through the CouncilMARK™ programme,” said LGNZ President Stuart Crosby.
“This is exactly what we want to see – councils committing to an independent review and using the results to drive improvement across their organisation, for the benefit of ratepayers.”
After receiving a ‘B’ grade in their first CouncilMARK™ report in 2017, Far North District Council used the findings of that report to embark on an ambitious improvement programme, as documented in a case study released last year.
The results of that improvement programme have shone through in the latest report, resulting in a ‘BB grade,’ and earning praise for an ambitious capital works programme and financial planning, but a need to increase community engagement and develop a strong long-term vision.
“The Far North District’s leadership should be commended for their appetite for transparency and improvement. They’re undertaking a lot of big infrastructure and improvement projects in the community, and what the report shows, is that although their resources are limited, they need to continue telling their story around this work.”
“Some of the report recommendations will be things the council is already working on. The council is managing a wide range of iwi relationships, and the report notes that this is a challenging area, but that the council are working hard to improve iwi engagement.”
“The report rightly commends the council’s finance team, finding that their moderate levels of debt are well managed. A challenge will be using that strong financial platform to improve their asset management, particularly their roading and three waters.”
“The upside is that this report provides a clear pathway for the council, and we have every confidence, with their strong governance and management, that they can achieve this,” concluded Mr Crosby.