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13/03/2019 10:16am

An A-grade report card from expert council assessors endorses the long held view of Hauraki District Mayor John Tregidga. 

“I’ve always believed we have one of the most united councils in the country and that’s been fully endorsed by this report,” he said. 

Small council doing big things

The Independent Assessment Board that oversees Local Government Excellence Programme CouncilMARK™ today described Hauraki District Council as “a small Council doing big things” and awarded it an A rating, citing a stand out performance in governance, strategy and engagement with the community.

The Mayor says Hauraki District is the only council in the country to achieve an outstanding result in both governance and community engagement,

“This A grade acknowledges the hard work we all put in and reflects the great working relationship between our elected members and staff,” he said.

“The difference between this council and most other councils is that our councillors genuinely respect each other. That doesn’t mean we agree on everything, but it does mean we can hotly debate an issue around the council table then break for a cup of tea with no hard feelings at all. We’re all deeply and genuinely invested in achieving the best outcomes for our communities which means listening to a diverse range of ideas and points of view.”

Humbling result

Council Chief Executive Langley Cavers describes the A grade result as humbling,   

“It’s truly humbling to receive such positive feedback, this is a reflection of the whole organisation, and I’m especially pleased for my staff who are committed to serving our communities and really deserve this recognition,” Cavers said.

What we do well and what we could do better

That’s not to say there’s no room for improvement.

Cavers says the organisation signed up to the voluntary CouncilMARK™ assessment programme with the aim of finding out what it did well, and where it could do better.

“It’s difficult to assess your own performance objectively and we saw this as a real opportunity to understand our core strengths, find out how we stacked up compared with other councils, and most importantly, identify areas for improvement.”   

Extremely effective overall

As part of the programme, the Council was assessed by an independent board of experts in four key areas including governance, strategy and leadership, financial decision making, delivery of services, and communication and engagement. Overall, the organisation was found to be extremely effective with numerous strengths identified in governance and decision making, infrastructure investment, and community engagement. However, a few areas of improvement were identified.

“We’ll be looking into those areas further and building on our strengths to further improve the service and value we provide to our communities,” said Cavers.

Transparency and continuous improvement

Both the Mayor and Cavers say participating in the programme has been an extremely worthwhile and positive experience.

Mayor Tregidga said,

“Undergoing this assessment is a commitment to transparency and continuous improvement and we hope it gives people a bit more insight into the work we’re doing. We greatly appreciate the ongoing support, feedback, and participation of our communities in our decision making processes and will continue to work closely together to ensure a positive and bright future for everyone in the District.”

Read the report 

For more information about CouncilMARK™ and to read the independent assessment report    [PDF, 2.7 MB]