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 provided by way of an assessment report after a comprehensive review process.
Since its last CouncilMARK assessment in 2019/20, and in spite of growth pressures, the Council has retained its BB rating and improved its operations in several key areas, with standouts being development of its strategic vision backed by policies and plans as well as building a strong values-led workplace culture.
LGNZ President Stuart Crosby says the Council has recognised that the population of the district is growing, and planning is underway to ensure critical infrastructure delivers desired service levels.
“The Council has embarked on an ambitious programme of work to both re-establish and deliver on what is a compelling vision for this rural and geographically large district. The Executive Leadership Team is well-regarded by staff and stakeholders alike and debt is low, which provides headroom to fund infrastructure renewals and capital projects.
“Likewise, the Mayor is highly regarded by stakeholders as he is visible and accessible. He’s an ally of business and has also been pivotal to building the Council’s mature and effective relationship with Māori.”
The report notes that a healthy workplace is emerging across the organisation championed by the Chief Executive and Executive Leadership Team.
“The result will be clearer boundaries between governance and management, which is essential to the effective and efficient operations of council.”
The report also notes that the Council has recognised the work needed to strengthen its risk management framework and is working to build a more integrated framework that will improve resilience, enhance decision-making quality and resource allocation.
Council Chief Executive Peter Beggs says, “receiving the same rating as our previous assessment of BB is disappointing given the effort undertaken by staff and the noted significant areas of operational improvement. The assessment however provides us with excellent feedback to continue our improvement initiatives, many of which are already underway.
“I am delighted to be working collaboratively with the Mayor and Elected Members on an ‘all of Council’ approach to improvement and continue to build on the successes that were highlighted in the report.”