Local Government - review of councils


excerpt below

An indication of the relationship between central government and local bodies - page 37


...This disconnect between the view of the public and the expansionary ambitions of many councils, was more than evident in the findings of a survey of 3,000 people across the country, undertaken by Local Government New Zealand last year.

The results were abysmal. Local government scored only 29 points out of 100 in an Overall Reputation Index, which assessed three areas of local government operation – Performance, Leadership, and Communication (weighted at 37 percent, 33 percent, and 30 percent respectively).

Council ‘performance’, which gained an average score of 28 percent, covered efficiency and effectiveness, value for money, trust to make good spending decisions, managing finances well, managers and staff doing a good job, continual performance improvement, working with other councils where relevant, and having the skills and expertise to manage community affairs.

Council ‘leadership’, which ranked the lowest with an average score of 26 percent, covered the local leadership of mayors, regional council chairmen and councillors, along with their strategies for developing prosperity and wellbeing.

Council ‘communication and interaction’, which scored slightly higher at 32 percent, involved keeping people informed, providing opportunities for them to have a say, making it easy for them to interact and engage, and listening and acting on their needs.

Essentially, the areas of local government operation that were viewed the least positively by the public all related to financial management: a lack of trust to make good spending decisions, providing good value for rates dollars spent, and managing finances well.

The simple fact is that some local councils are performing so poorly that many believe they do not deserve any additional funding.

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