Central Hawke’s Bay District Council is emerging from a period of under investment and low levels of trust both within Council and with the community. However, the new leadership in place (the Mayor was elected in 2016, and the Chief Executive appointed in 2017) has seen the Council become highly responsive to current and emerging community needs. Community expectations are now very high, and early improvements are becoming apparent.
Better than competent
Council has embarked on a transformational programme since the last local body election. Strong, inclusive leadership is in place. Relationships with the community and other stakeholders are largely positive.
The Council has established a strong vision for the district, and a high level of commitment to serve the community and its interests is apparent.
The Council has had a long history of austerity and careful financial management. However, this has resulted in underinvestment in some core service areas. Also, some important decisions were not supported by robust financial analysis and justification.
The Council is managing its finances reasonably well, with low levels of debt. However, the community has expressed a willingness to pay for higher service levels.
Areas for improvement
The Council’s delivery of core infrastructure services to meet community expectations of performance has been compromised by inadequate investment in the past. Considerable remedial activity is now underway, and a prioritised action plan is being developed.
Central Hawke’s Bay District Council is facing several immediate infrastructure challenges, which are being addressed proactively.
The Mayor’s and Chief Executive’s commitment to effective communications, within Council and with the community, is exemplary. There is evidence of meaningful engagement with Māori.
The Central Hawke’s Bay District Council has become highly proactive in terms of engagement with the community, stakeholder groups and the general public.