Council receives BB rating
Central Hawke’s Bay District Council has received a BB rating from independent assessors as part of a local government excellence programme, reflecting the new leadership in place is enabling the council to become responsive to current and emerging community needs.
The council received the BB rating after completing its inaugural assessment as part of the CouncilMARK™ local government excellence programme.
The result gives CHB District Council independent external confidence that the work started is on the right track, based on best practice in the sector, says CHB mayor Alex Walker.
The programme, designed by Local Government New Zealand, gives councils and communities an independent view on how their council is carrying out their role.
Mayor Walker said the grading put Central Hawke’s Bay District Council on an even par with a number of its peers including Ruapehu, Masterton, Upper Hutt and Whakatane District Council’s and reflects the significant work taken place to build trust through effective community engagement, communication and transparency.
The independent assessors made note of council’s reputation being reinvigorated under the leadership of the mayor, council and chief executive which is leading a clear sense of purpose and direction with strong community support as a result of community engagement described as a “best in class” approach.
Mayor Walker says her elected members had big aspirations for how CHB District Council should be delivering value for the community and their approach has been brave, patient and future-focused.
“We have been carefully putting the building blocks in place for two years now and I am incredibly proud of where we have got to. But this is still just the beginning and we have many challenges yet to work through. The CouncilMARK™ assessment gives us, and our community an incredible confidence boost to continue to move forward with surety,” she says.
The assessors also noted that while strong inclusive leadership to lead the transformational programme exists, the council’s delivery of core infrastructure services to meet community expectations of performance has been compromised by inadequate investment in the past, and courageous leadership will be required to secure funding and to maintain community support for infrastructure upgrades.
“Taking part in the programme has given us an independent view on our strengths and weaknesses and it is incredibly heartening that the assessors, and a number of our key stakeholders, believe we are not just doing what we need to, but we are doing it well,” says chief executive Monique Davidson.
Mrs Davidson also said the report was a reflection on the work of the whole team and reinforced the council’s commitment to lifting its performance where it could to benefit its communities.
“Of course like with anything, there is always room for improvement and we will be looking at the recommendations to develop an action plan in those areas we are not already addressing, to help take our performance to the next level,” she said.
■ The full report is available on the Local Government New Zealand website http:/ /www.lgnz.co.nz/aboutcouncilmark/results/
Rating reflects “significant work” — CHB mayor Alex Walker.