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.