Published: 23 February 2017
Source: Northland Age, Kaitaia
In the last triennium the Far North District Council voted to participate in the Local Government Excellence Programme as one of the foundation members. The decision wasn’t without challenge, but courageously, the council agreed.
The Local Government Excellence Programme is an independent assessment that assesses how councils are performing and the value they are delivering to their communities. Eventually all councils will receive an overall performance rating, including commentary on their performance.
Far more important for me was that as a foundation member we could help ensure that the assessment framework accurately and fairly assesses rural councils such as ours against very large urban authorities like the Auckland City Council. This also means the Independent Assessment Board (IAB) will be involving us earlier, and will help us internally to lift the bar on our own performance and help meet our aim for greater openness and accountability sooner.
The programme has four priority areas that most ratepayers would welcome. These are excellence in governance, leadership and strategy; excellence and transparency in financial decision-making; high standards of service delivery and asset management; and stronger engagement with the public and businesses.
We were one of 21 foundation member councils; eventually all councils’ assessment results will be posted on LGNZ’s website.
Finally, at the last meeting, the council adopted the customer service strategy, which is intended to be implemented across all departments. The clearly stated vision is to be ‘a respected and trusted organisation that consistently delivers high-quality services to the community and is dedicated to providing first-class support to the mayor, council and community boards.’
The clearly stated mission is to be ‘a skilled workforce that informs, listens to and understands its customers, communities, including iwi and hapu, is focused on high performance and delivers on its promises.’