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Council Achieves AA CouncilMARK Rating

The CouncilMARK™ programme, developed by Local Government New Zealand, 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 to all New Zealanders. cM front

Councils that participate in CouncilMARK™ are given a rating ranging from AAA to C, after being assessed across these four priority areas:

  • Governance, leadership and strategy
  • Financial decision-making and transparency
  • Service delivery and asset management
  • Communicating and engaging with the public and business.
View the full report here. CouncilMARK aa



Central Hawke’s Bay is well on track for a thriving future, after Central Hawke’s Bay District Council has achieved the second highest performance rating possible and commended for punching above its weight in an independent local government assessment of its performance. 

CouncilMARK a local government independent assessment programme, assesses the performance of local authorities across key areas and is designed to support Councils to improve the service and value they provide.   

Central Hawke’s Bay District Council has been awarded an ‘AA’ result in its second assessment, up three grades from the ‘BB’ result achieved in its first assessment in 2018.  The ‘AA’ assessment sees Council being one of only two Councils in New Zealand to hold the ‘AA’ grading, the highest grade currently awarded in New Zealand, being recognised as a high performing, rural local authority on the back of significant change. 

Mayor Alex Walker describes the ‘AA’ CouncilMARK grading as validation for the community of the change they sought for their future in the 2016 local body elections, and confirmation of the deliberate and purposeful approach Council has led to deliver on community aspirations through Project Thrive.   

“As community and local government head into uncertain times through both pandemic and reform in 2022, I am incredibly proud that we have built a high performing Council that will set our Central Hawke’s Bay community up well to ride through that change. There are so many people that work so hard for this community, and I have always seen it as vital that they have a Council that is strong, credible and professional to be able work with them.” 

While positive about the outcome of the assessment, Councils Chief Executive Officer Monique Davidson still recognises there is still work for Council to do.  

“The results of CouncilMARK sends a clear message to the community that this is a Council they should have pride in, that is not just heading in the right direction, but leading the way in many aspects”, say Mrs Davidson.   

“As management, this assessment forms a key part of Councils continuous improvement processes, providing us with clear focus areas for improvement, ensuring that we continue to focus on and enhance the services and value our community receive from Council”.  

The CouncilMARK Assessors particularly noted Councils transformation and its clear alignment with the purpose of the four well-being of the Local Government.   

“Central Hawke’s Bay District Council has undergone a transformation over the past three to four years. Today, Council’s engagement with the community and understanding of community needs is comprehensive, and Council has the political will and management drive to respond and deliver to identified needs. Their actions are highly aligned with the purpose of local government”. 

View the full report herecOUNCILmark BB



Central Hawke’s Bay District Council has turned a corner. 

​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 becoming highly responsive to current and emerging community needs.  

In October 2018, Central Hawke’s Bay District Council received a BB rating after completing its inaugural assessment as part of the CouncilMARK™ local government excellence programme.​​ 

The result gives Central Hawke’s Bay District Council independent external confidence that the work started, and intended to continue, is on the right track, based on best practice in the sector. 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 Alex 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 very 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 Central Hawke’s Bay District Council should be delivering value for the community and their approach has been brave, patient and future-focussed. "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." 

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 that courageous leadership will be required to secure funding and to maintain community support for necessary 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.   



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