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Published: 2016-06-30 00:00:00

Waikato Regional Council’s commitment to excellence is reflected in its application to be part of a new Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) programme.

A majority of councillors today agreed to the application to be a foundation council in the excellence programme.

“We see this as a really great opportunity to further lift performance at the council, which has already introduced a range of efficiencies in recent years,” said chairperson Paula Southgate.

“The programme can help us further lift the value we deliver to the Waikato community.”

The regional council will find out next month whether it will be a foundation council. Being in at the start provides a range of advantages in terms of helping get maximum value out the programme.

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.

“This is designed to give communities a clear and independent picture of how well their councils are performing in serving the community, and we welcome the chance to be part of it from the start,” said Cr Southgate.

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.