Waikato District Council

Auditing the Future: 2009

Waikato District Council is a mid to large-sized district council. Waikato is an area that is expecting a reasonably high level of growth in coming years. This district has the challenge of balancing the costs and benefits of growth against affordability for the significant proportion of the population that earn below average incomes.

The Waikato District Council's LTCCP includes a number of good elements, including:

  • a summary of key issues;
  • a description of links to other regional community outcome processes;
  • a description of the levels of service review programme; and
  • a presentation of the main project information in group of activities statements.

The LTCCP has a two-page summary of major consultation issues. It covers a number of important capital projects, their rating implications, some policy issues, and a summary of the Waikato District Council's financial strategy. In the final adopted LTCCP this summary is supplemented by a commentary on the decisions made on each issue in response to submissions that were received. This is an effective way to record the consultation processes of the LTCCP.

The Waikato District Council has been involved in two community outcome processes as well as the process which focused solely on its own district. These processes were the regional “Choosing Futures Waikato” process and the “Waikato-Tainui live” community outcomes process. The LTCCP includes some reasonable links between the broader regional outcomes and the district outcomes. However, these links could be improved further.

The Waikato District Council's LTCCP contains a good explanation of what a level of service is. It explains clearly the process the Waikato District Council has used to identify and assess levels of service. The LTCCP explains that not all levels of service have been specifically reviewed and includes a table that sets out the proposed consultation programme. This programme addresses all main levels of service of the Waikato District Council. In our view, it helps the reader to understand the concept of levels of service.

In each of the two groups of activities that have significant infrastructural assets, the LTCCP sets out a table of major projects. The information presented by the Waikato District Council is a clear tabular presentation identifying the nature of the capital expenditure. It differentiates between growth, levels of service, legislative change, maintenance, or renewal-related works.

We consider this to be an effective way of providing the information required by Schedule 10 of the Act.

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