CouncilMARK™ rewards robust decision-making and promotes a more inclusive council culture, improved delivery of essential services and better communication and engagement.

CouncilMARK™ is designed to both help the public understand what councils are doing in their communities, and support councils to further improve their services and the value they provide.

It encourages a culture of continuous improvement and assists councils to further engage with their communities on the issues that matter locally.

How it works

The CouncilMARK™ programme incorporates an independent assessment system that looks at how councils are performing and the work they're undertaking to grow the value they deliver. Councils receive an overall performance rating and commentary on their performance.

It focusses on four priority areas:

  • Governance, leadership and strategy
  • Financial decision-making and transparency
  • Service delivery and asset management
  • Communicating and engaging with the public and business

An independent assessment board oversees the programme, its assessment system and its team of independent assessors, who have significant expertise and experience across the priority areas.

The board is responsible for the awarding of assessment ratings and reports to councils.


The programme is underpinned by significant research commissioned by LGNZ, including the New Zealand Local Government Survey of over 3,000 citizens and businesses, which provided important country-wide insights into people’s perceptions of local government.

The Survey was established in 2014 to measure the ongoing reputation and performance of the local government sector.

It measures awareness of local government and its services, satisfaction with services, performance of local government and areas where local businesses and the public think local government performance can improve.

CouncilMARK relaunch

The CouncilMARK programme has been redesigned to help councils serve their communities better. The changes include a focus on continuous improvement and making services more accessible. There's a new three-step approach that lets councils choose how they want to improve, whether through self-assessment, outside evaluation, or extra help. The way the programme measures performance has also changed. It now looks at important things like ethical conduct, honouring the Treaty of Waitangi, and dealing with climate change. The goal is to encourage councils to take part and get better over time. This marks an exciting new phase for CouncilMARK, where councils can do well in a constantly changing environment.