BBB rating for Council


2021-03-29T15:47:00 Pacific/Auckland

Mon 29 Mar 21


Ruapehu chief executive Clive Manley is pleased with the second independent CouncilMARK assessment rating of BBB which shows Council has maintained its overall performance while making improvements in the key areas highlighted by the inaugural 2017 report.

This is a great result which was achieved through a lot of hard work by Council staff over the last four years.

I am very proud of the team and would like to thank them for their efforts as well as Mayor Cameron and the councillors for their support and leadership which was highlighted as a particular strength of Council in the assessment.

CouncilMARK is an excellent initiative developed by Local Government NZ (LGNZ) to help improve the public's knowledge of the work we are doing and to support councils to further improve the value we provide to our communities and stakeholders.

The programme involves independent experts assessing us on four key performance indicators being governance and leadership, finance and transparency, service delivery and asset management and communications and community engagement.

Our BBB rating is a solid improvement from our 2017 BB rating given our challenges of being a small, rural council with limited income, serving diverse communities over a geographically large area.

The improved rating indicates that Council is delivering competent outcomes in governance and leadership, financial decision making and transparency, service delivery and asset management and performing well in communications and engagement.

Mr Manley said that while Council was happy with our progress and the BBB rating it wasn’t an opportunity to rest on our laurels.

The assessment report highlighted the challenges we are facing with changing community priorities and increasing service level expectations that will require more innovation and creativity to ensure our small population base is not unreasonably burdened with high levels of debt.

As CouncilMARK is designed as a cycle of continuous improvement this assessment this will help focus our attention notably around project and risk management as we undertake our accelerated capital works programme.

Mayor Cameron said he wanted to thank Mr Manley and Council staff for the BBB result which was a good result and fair reflection of how Council was currently performing.

The release of the CouncilMARK report is very timely with Council having just opened its consultation on its new ten-year Long Term Plan 2021/31..

Many of the issues we are seeking feedback on are reflected in the report including improving outcomes around meeting increasing drinking water and environmental standards and engagement with Māori.

The Long Term Plan consultation is a great opportunity for people to have their say on these and other issues and whether they want more of a focus (spending) on a particular priority area to improve our performance,” he said.



Kudos for council using CouncilMARK™ report to drive improvement for ratepayers

Ruapehu District Council has become one of a handful of councils to receive a second CouncilMARK™ report, and have been lauded by the programme’s Independent Assessment Board for the way they have used the first report to drive improvement for ratepayers.

CouncilMARK™ is an independent assessment programme that assesses how councils are performing and is designed to support individual councils to improve the service and value they provide. Councils receive an overall performance rating from the Independent Assessment Board (IAB), from C to AAA, as well as commentary on their performance across four key areas. The reports are designed to be easy to read and understand.

In awarding the council a BBB rating, up from a BB in 2017, the IAB highlighted improvement in their leadership and financial decision-making, but also called out a need to address aging infrastructure in the face of increasing drinking water and environmental standards.

“The first thing we saw in Ruapehu is that both the council and community have got very strong leaders in Mayor Don Cameron and Chief Executive Clive Manley,” said IAB Chair Toby Stevenson.

“They are genuinely motivated to make a positive impact on the lives of their residents, and their strong working relationships with each other, council staff, elected members and residents is a testament to that.”

“Their leadership will be vital in addressing some of the issues that the report finds, particularly around renewing aging three waters infrastructure.”

“It’s a four pronged fork where the infrastructure needs attention, national environmental and other standards are rising, community expectations are high, but resources are relatively limited. So the council will need to strike a balance in addressing each of these factors in its asset management work.”

“This CouncilMARK™ report will help to focus their attention on how they address infrastructure renewal, but at the same time it affirms that the council is doing a lot well, particularly around community services, managing debt, financial reporting and enabling housing solutions.”

LGNZ President Stuart Crosby gave the council kudos for undertaking the assessment, to provide the council, residents and ratepayers with a clear picture of where they’re succeeding and where more attention is needed.

“The way Ruapehu has approached the CouncilMARK™ programme is a great example for other councils,” said LGNZ President Stuart Crosby.

“The council joined the programme because they wanted to gain an independent review of their services and offering to the community, and then to use the findings to deliver improved services for ratepayers.”

“The report has confirmed that they’re doing a lot of things very well, but like other councils, the combination of aging infrastructure, rising standards and limited resources is challenging.”

“We are confident that with the right support, both from central government and LGNZ, that Ruapehu will rise to meet this challenge, as well as others such as affordable and social housing,” concluded Mr Crosby.


For more information, please contact LGNZ Senior Communications Advisor Daniel Webster on 022 524 1217 or email [email protected].

About LGNZ and local government in New Zealand

Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) is the peak body representing New Zealand's 78 local, regional and unitary authorities. LGNZ advocates for local democracy, develops local government policy, and promotes best practice and excellence in leadership, governance and service delivery. Through its work strengthening sector capability, LGNZ contributes to the economic success and vibrancy of communities and the nation.

The local government sector plays an important role. In addition to giving citizens a say in how their communities are run, councils own a broad range of community assets worth more than $120 billion. These include 90 per cent of New Zealand's road network, the bulk of the country's water and waste water networks, and libraries, recreation and community facilities. Regional and unitary councils play a key role in administering the Resource Management Act and as environmental regulators. Council expenditure is approximately $8.5 billion dollars, representing approximately 4 per cent of Gross Domestic Product and 11 per cent of all public expenditure.

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Page reviewed: 29 Mar 2021 3:47pm