Local Government New Zealand congratulates the first councils to have been assessed through the local government excellence programme, CouncilMARK™.
Eighteen councils from around New Zealand signed up as Foundation Councils to be the first to go through the assessment process. Reports for the first five are complete and have now been released by the CouncilMARK™ Independent Assessment Board for councils and their communities.
The reports released today are for Horowhenua District Council, Queenstown Lakes District Council, Matamata-Piako District Council, Ruapehu District Council and Napier City Council. The reports and more information on CouncilMARK™ can be found here.
The reports showed all councils had areas of strength as well as opportunities for improvement.
While each report accounts for the individual circumstances of different councils, a number of common themes emerged. These include that financial planning is generally prudent, asset management is aligned with council vision and goals and most councils keep their constituents regularly informed and are accessible to the community.
The reports also show councils could see improvement in a number of ways, including by embedding a strong risk management regime, strengthening audit and risk committees by including an independent member, enhancing councillor focus on asset management and better utilising communication tools, including social media.
LGNZ President Lawrence Yule says the release of the first reports marks a major milestone for local government and the communities it serves.
“The CouncilMARK™ programme is the gold standard assessment system for councils and communities, designed to achieve measurable change over time,” Mr Yule says.
“Local government is committed to delivering the best possible outcomes for our communities and doing this requires in-depth knowledge of how we are performing in our key areas of responsibility, and that is what CouncilMARK™ provides. It is necessary and timely, and has the support of the sector.
“I congratulate all councils that have been through the programme for getting involved, and look forward to other councils participating in the programme in the next round of assessments later this year.”
The programme and indicators councils are assessed on were developed by LGNZ in conjunction with Cameron Partners. Partner Rob Cameron says the CouncilMARK™ performance assessment system was based on the best examples of similar programmes from around the world to assist councils to promote and improve the value they deliver to their communities.
“The CouncilMARK™ programme is based on rigorous methodology and is underpinned by sound research,” Mr Cameron says.