CouncilMARK™ evaluating and communicating local government performance

Local government plays an incredibly important role in ensuring New Zealand communities are able to thrive and in shaping and protecting the places where New Zealanders live, work and play.

Councils across New Zealand hold assets worth $124 billion, employ 30,000 people and are responsible for 11 per cent of all public spending, including on roads, transport, water and emergency management.

There is a limited understanding among the public of the full extent of the work councils do and how they do it. While the 2015 New Zealand Local Government Survey showed the need for improving the service and value local governments deliver to their communities, it also showed the need to better inform their constituents of the scope and quality of the work they are doing.

CouncilMARK™ local government excellence programme

Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) in association with their members and sector experts recently developed and launched  the local government excellence programme CouncilMARK™ which aims to show and grow council performance. CouncilMARK™  is designed to improve the public’s knowledge of the work councils are doing in their communities and to support individual councils to further improve the service and value they provide.

Overseen by an Independent Assessment Board, the CouncilMARK™ programme is a comprehensive, transparent and independent standards system and the “gold-standard” for councils and communities, designed to achieve measureable change over time.

CouncilMARK™ not only offers individual councils the chance to show how they’re tracking locally, it also demonstrates to the national community that as a sector it is committed to delivering high quality services for its communities.

The CouncilMARK™ programme measures indicators across four key areas: governance, leadership and strategy; transparency in financial decision-making; service delivery and asset management; and strong engagement with the public and businesses.  Participating councils are assessed by independent experts every three years and given an overall rating from triple AAA to C, before the results publicised.   

The programme was officially launched in 2016 and completed by 18 councils in its inaugural year, with 11 further councils set to participate in its second year.

Click here to view completed CouncilMARK™ reports.

Lifting engagement in and understanding of local government is a key aim of LGNZ and the wider sector.  If we wish to see greater engagement, it is crucial ensure councils are open, accessible and transparent. CouncilMARK™ is a key tool for achieving this.


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