The councillors see themselves as a relatively new council with the last local government election resulting in a 50 per cent turnover of elected members, as well as a new Mayor. They demonstrate a willingness to be “in their communities” and have quickly established themselves as leaders.
To achieve their outcomes, elected members and management face the challenge to present Tararua as a united community attractive to growth, and more than just a collection of disparate rural towns. The people of Tararua are ready to back the Council on that journey.
Investing money well
Better than competent
Council has financial choices open to it because of past and ongoing careful management, attention to improving information on which financial decisions are based and clarity about its vision. The 2018/28 Long Term Plan effectively brings these choices together in a coherent financial strategy.
The Council’s relatively strong financial position is being used to help Tararua meet its aspirations for up-to-date, well maintained assets, and investment in infrastructure which adds to the quality of life and well-being of its communities.
Delivering what’s important
The Council is managing much of its infrastructure assets in an effective manner through a collaborative alliance with Downer NZ Ltd. It has been a success story for the District, however, there are a number of legacy issues with asset condition and service levels expectations that need to be progressively addressed. In other operational areas there is a strong service ethic, but some capacity and capability challenges remain. Delivery of day to day services would be enhanced through clearer operational strategies and goals, and more relevant performance measures.
The Council is developing an improved understanding of its infrastructure assets, enabling it to make better-informed investment decisions and deliver improved outcomes.
Listening and responding
Better than competent
The Council’s strengths lie in its direct engagement with its community, rather than having documented clear strategies for developing engagement with key stakeholder groups. The Mayor has developed a strong profile across the district, and several stakeholder groups would like to see her accessibility and active community participation mirrored by other elected members.
Both staff and elected members see community engagement as an important part of their roles. While there are some specific challenges facing them, particularly the development of iwi relationships, the general feedback from stakeholders is very positive.