Areas for improvement
Though Council has made improvements in recent years, several matters require attention to ensure both oversight is sound and enable to Council to publicly account for its performance. Further improvements in governance practice should result in more effective leadership and better transparency to stakeholders and the public.
The Council has made significant progress since 2014. However, further improvements are needed in several performance areas to reach good practice.
Investing money well
The Council is fiscally prudent, having adopted a conservative balance and loan sheet. Financial decision making quality has improved in recent years. However, ageing infrastructure and a growth outlook will increase pressure on future Council budgets and decisions.
The challenge for this Council is to lift financial practices to good practice levels during a period of increased demand for funding.
Delivering what’s important
The engineering team operates competently to meet demands. However, major contracts and projects should be overseen by the full Council to ensure they are linked back to the Long Term Plan and transparent.
Engineering manages most (around 80 per cent) of the Council’s budget.
Listening and responding
The Council’s approach to communications is undergoing change, with a strong emphasis on being more responsive to the district’s residents.
Council has a solid platform to build strong partnerships with legitimate stakeholders, including Māori/hapū, as the district enters a growth phase. However, Council needs to take these stakeholders on the journey by outlining a clear and achievable vision for the district. The Council is aware of the challenge and associated issues.