Draft SOLGM Submission – Urban Development Authorities Document
The MBIE led discussion document on the proposed Urban Development Authority legislation is open for feedback.

SOLGM has prepared a draft submission. It is short and supports the proposed legislation in principle. The arrangements for establishing these bodies are complex, as they should be given the broad powers they have, but that means that we suspect that there are only a few large projects that would be a suitable candidate for this treatment.

Our main concerns lie in the powers to override and in the ability of these agencies to attract capability. The proposals in our draft are open for your feedback. The draft submission and feedback details can be found here.

Have you encouraged your PA or EA to attend the Professional Administrators Forum?
The Forum delivers an engaging programme tailored to meet the specific needs of professional administrators, EAs and PAs working in the sector. For more information, and to register, visit this Forum's webpage.

Have you registered for the Future Workforce Forum?
This Forum is for all of those involved in addressing the future shape of the local government workforce for council and sector growth. This year's four burning topics address the meaty issues of diversity, disruptive technologies, recruitment and retention, and leadership. Learn more and register here.

Should your council participate in both the Australasian LG Performance Excellence Program and CouncilMARK™?
Yes, SOLGM and LGNZ agree that councils are well served by participating in both SOLGM’s Australasian LG Performance Excellence Program and LGNZ’s Local Government Excellence Programme (CouncilMARK™). SOLGM’s Program is operational and internally focused while LGNZ’s Programme is strategic and externally focused.

CouncilMARK™ is a measure for better community value and New Zealand’s local government excellence programme. The CouncilMARK™ programme 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. The programme incorporates an independent assessment system that assesses how councils are performing and the work they're undertaking to grow the value they deliver. Councils receive an overall performance rating from a team of independent assessors and commentary on their performance.

The four priorities areas for CouncilMARK™ are:

- excellence in governance, leadership and strategy;

- excellence and transparency in financial decision-making;

- excellence of service delivery and asset management; and

- strong engagement with the public and businesses.

The programme encourages a culture of continuous improvement and assists councils to further engage with their communities on the issues that matter locally. Council ratings can be viewed here.

More information about the Australasian LG Performance Excellence Program can be found here.

Water New Zealand seeks Council assistance in National Water Survey
A major customer survey being launched on 1 May is aimed at helping the water sector grapple with the growing challenges around planning and managing the country’s water resources.

Water New Zealand Chief Executive John Pfahlert says the information gathered will be available to water providers and utilities to help in future planning and ensuring customers’ needs are being met.

”We want to ensure that the survey is robust and that we get to a wide range of customers, that’s why we have asked all council managers to help us reach a wide range of customers and ratepayers by circulating the survey through council communications channels.

“If you are able to help and haven’t already been in contact with us please email media@waternz.org.nz for more information and to get access to marketing assets to use in emails and social media.”

The survey is expected to run for about six weeks and it is hoped that the findings will be presented at the Water New Zealand Conference in September. For background on the survey click here.