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Council balances challenges with community outcomes


The Wairoa District Council’s recent CouncilMARK report confirms that Wairoa punches above its weight says Wairoa Mayor Craig Little.

CouncilMARK™ is New Zealand's Local Government excellence programme measuring better community value and encouraging a culture of continuous improvement by assisting councils to further engage with their communities on the issues that matter locally.

Mr Little said this year’s CouncilMARK assessment recognises how hard the Wairoa District Council works to improve outcomes for ratepayers and meet the needs of the community.

“I am proud of the work Council’s elected members and staff are doing and being acknowledged through an Independent Assessment Board is validating.

“The assessment highlights our areas of strength and the improvements we have made and also identifies areas we can continue to focus on in the future.

“I am pleased with our improved result and also that the report acknowledges Wairoa’s unique characteristics and the progress we are making.

“It is very challenging to be continually loaded up by Central Government with changing legislation and requirements, yet no additional funding which makes it impossible for Local Government to deliver on the changes.

“For the past century, while the Central Government spending trajectory has continually gone up, Central Government funding to Local Government has remained the same, literally flatlined.

“We are a very unique district, and our solutions are not always mainstream. This report recognises that we roll between traditional and modern approaches in a bid to get the best outcome possible.

“The report also identifies that we are well aware of our ability to pay and our financial challenges.

“It is the resilience of the elected members and Council staff whose hard work has enabled us to achieve at the levels we have. It can be an uphill battle and I would like to take this opportunity to recognise my fellow elected members and all of our staff who work hard to help make Wairoa be the best it can be.

“The report also recognised our bicultural governance model through our Māori ward and our active engagement and connection with our iwi and our entire population.

“It is also helpful to have areas identified that we can continue to work on to help us to improve and achieve the best possible results.

“Our 2021-31 Long-Term Plan consultation document is based on a financial strategy that sets the Council’s direction of travel for the next 10 years.

“This CouncilMARK report endorses that we are on the right trajectory to look after our community today and into the future.”

For the full report head to

And to read the CouncilMARK press release head to

13 May 2021

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