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Published: 2016-07-11 00:00:00

Waikato Regional Council says it’s great news that it has been successful in its application to be part of a new Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) excellence programme aimed at helping boost local government performance.

The regional council and three district councils from the Waikato (Matamata-Piako, South Waikato and Taupo) were today named by Local Government New Zealand as foundation councils in the excellence programme. Waikato Regional Council is one of only two regional councils selected for the programme.

“This as a fantastic opportunity to further lift performance at the regional council, which has already introduced a range of efficiencies in recent years,” said chief executive Vaughan Payne.

“Over the years local government has often been criticised for poor performance. Yet there has been no single robust framework for measuring the sector’s performance. This programme will help provide more confidence to the council and our community about our performance and the value we deliver to the Waikato regional community.”

Getting in at the ground floor helping design the programme provides a range of advantages in terms of helping get maximum value out the programme for ratepayer benefit, Mr Payne added.

The LGNZ programme’s local government standards system is designed to demonstrate and improve the value and services of councils by measuring qualitative and quantitative indicators across leadership, finance, service delivery and community engagement.

Through the programme, participating councils will be assessed every three years, given a standard from A to C, and the results publicised. Councils will discuss results with communities and use the assessments to plan improvements.

The excellence programme been developed in response to the 2015 New Zealand Local Government Survey, which showed there is an opportunity to lift and demonstrate the service and value councils deliver to their communities.