Council, ably led by a long serving Mayor, understands the importance of effective collective decision making.
Strong and inclusive leadership is in place amongst both elected members and Council staff. Relationships with ratepayers and other stakeholders are positive.
The HDC has a well-established and strong vision for the district that is embraced by the community whose interests it strives to serve.
Investing money well
The Council has a long history of conservative financial management. Affordability is intensely monitored while apportioning investment and expenditure across the community, balancing the needs of the three wards. Important decisions are supported by robust financial analysis and justification, considering both compliance and performance.
The Council manages its finances conservatively, with relatively low levels of debt. However, EMs and Council staff are acutely aware of rising compliance costs and the potential impact on service provision in the future.
Delivering what’s important
The Council's delivery of core infrastructure services to meet community expectations is well managed. Bringing roading services back in-house has begun the recovery of asset knowledge.
Hauraki District Council is managing the cost of rising compliance and increasing demands on immediate infrastructure proactively
Listening and responding
The Mayor, elected members', and Chief Executive's commitment to effective communications within Council and with the broader community is outstanding. They are renowned across the district for their willingness to listen.
The Council is recognised nationally for producing accessible consultation documents in plain English without over-simplifying issues. Their use of a ‘road trip analogy’ was commended by the Office of the Auditor General.
The Hauraki District Council (HDC) has an effective and well-developed communications strategy and a series of actions designed to engage with, and listen to, each of the local communities. The strategy is the result of coordinated activity between the EMs and Council staff. The communications strategy reflects the district’s vision, broad goals and objectives, and the LTP and annual work plan. Considerable effort is placed on communicating with local communities across each of the three wards, and with more defined communities and audiences within each ward as required, such as the Kaiaua ‘beach’ community of largely holiday homes.
The strategy is well understood by EMs and staff. While the strategy is one of being outbound, the primary function of the Council is to listen. An EM working party is deliberately focused on implementation of the communications strategy and, like the LTP and annual plan, it is understood to be a working document to be managed judiciously. The strategy provides a guide for all.