New Plymouth District Council (NPDC) has been awarded an A grade by Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) in its latest CouncilMARK assessment of the council, improving on its previous score of BBB.
In its assessment report, LGNZ found the Council has a clear plan to accomplish its vision of a ‘sustainable lifestyle capital’ and the right financial tools to achieve it.
LGNZ President, Stuart Crosby says residents should be pleased with the high standards being set at a time where local government grapples with some of the biggest challenges they’ve faced in over three decades.
“The report shows that the NPDC is in a strong financial position, Community Boards are being well utilised, and elected members have worked collectively despite differences of opinion,” said Mr Crosby.
“Chambers are a place where we need to respectfully challenge one another, and the Mayor has done well to grow an open and inclusive meeting culture.
“While it remains an area for improvement, it’s encouraging to see that the Council has made progress over the last two to three years strengthening relationships with iwi and hapū.”
The assessment report also notes the council is performing well in service delivery, asset management and investment.
NPDC Acting Chief Executive, Jacqueline Baker says that the council has responded well during the pandemic, and the results of the CouncilMARK report reflect that.
“This is a great result for our team after a lot of hard work and reflects our focus on providing great services for our residents, value for our ratepayers and focusing on continuing to do better,” she said.
Ms Baker said she was also pleased the report recognised Council’s efforts to improve the district’s infrastructure.
“Cyclone Gita in 2018 was a real wake-up call on the vulnerability of our infrastructure and the report recognises the efforts we have made since then to rectify that, and how our campaign to fix our plumbing has taken elected members, ratepayers and other stakeholders along on the journey,” she said.
The full CouncilMARK report can be read here.