List of our governance resources

A list of our reports, articles, blog posts, and published letters about governance...
Governance of the National Security System

November 2016: In our view, the governance arrangements for responding to national security events and emergencies are well established, fundamentally sound, and fit for purpose. The response to Operation Concord was an example of the National Security System working well. New Zealand’s security system has some of the characteristics of a world-class system.

Author portrait picture The trust paradox

Reconciling security and privacy may be the issue of the decade, senior leaders of public agencies attending the fourth Transparency International Leaders Integrity Forum were told last month.

Public sector accountability through raising concerns

March 2016: In this report, we discuss how easily people can make their complaints and raise their concerns through various channels and what we have learned about the strengths of, and challenges facing, six particular inquiry agencies. The inquiry agencies we looked at are facing increasing challenges, including increased demand for their services, increased complexity of issues brought to them, and resource constraints.

Improving financial reporting in the public sector

February 2016: This report reflects on the concerns raised in 2009, sets out our views about how well these concerns have been addressed, and provides some insight into the future of financial reporting. There have been positive changes to accounting standards during the last six to seven years, which we expect to lead to improvements in financial reporting. The positive changes include setting up an independent body to set accounting standards and adopting a new Accounting Standards Framework for all reporting entities...

Governance and accountability for three Christchurch rebuild projects

December 2015: This report looks at the governance arrangements for three projects to rebuild essential facilities in Christchurch: the Bus Interchange, the New Central Library, and the Acute Services Building at Christchurch Hospital. We found that governance was most effective when there was a clear structure and when accountabilities, roles, and responsibilities were well defined and understood. Strong leadership was an important part of effective governance, and being clear about who is accountable for project outcomes supports effective governance.

Earthquake Commission: Managing the Canterbury Home Repair Programme - follow-up audit

December 2015: EQC has continued to manage some things well. These include the management of actual repair costs, the management of health and safety, securing reinsurance, and high levels of surveyed customer satisfaction with the quality of repairs immediately on completion of the repairs. Despite the improvements made, EQC could still learn better from complaints and improve its customer focus and interactions.

Governance and accountability of council-controlled organisations

October 2015: This report updates our earlier publications on local authority subsidiaries and re-examines the principles for good governance of subsidiaries that we proposed in 2001. It also identifies and discusses the issues relevant to CCOs that have come to our attention since 2002.

Reviewing aspects of the Auckland Manukau Eastern Transport Initiative

October 2015: Progress with technical aspects – such as reaching design solutions, developing procurement options, and budget management – has been strong. But Auckland Transport needs to improve the focus on relationships with stakeholders, contractor performance, and the benefits delivered to date, as part of the monitoring and reporting. We made 12 recommendations to help Auckland Transport strengthen AMETI’s governance, accountability, and programme management arrangements.

Inquiry into Health Benefits Limited

October 2015: We looked at the costs and benefits of HBL’s work in the health sector and identified 11 lessons that might benefit HBL’s successors and other shared services programmes. HBL's difficulties included an ambitious and complex programme, inadequate communication with DHBs, a lack of timely and accurate information for HBL’s board, and no overall project management. Some DHBs’ commitment to change appears to have been limited. From early 2014, HBL's board improved relationships with the health sector and the governance and management of change programmes...

Author portrait picture CSI: Parks and reserves

It was a sunny Monday morning. The wind was rustling gently through the golden leaves of the willows by the river. Although crisp and clear outside, the normal morning run through this park felt different. Something had changed...

Effectiveness of governance arrangements in the arts, culture, and heritage sector

May 2015: In this report, we look at the effectiveness of governance arrangements in six public entities in the arts, culture, and heritage sector. Overall, there is an effective level of governance in each of the six entities. The boards for these entities take their responsibilities seriously and have appropriate structures, policies, and practices to help their organisations achieve their strategic direction and fulfil their roles. However, more could be done to strengthen risk management...

Inland Revenue Department: Governance of the Business Transformation programme

April 2015: We found that Inland Revenue’s governance of the programme has provided clear direction, and supported clear and effective decisions. Strengths of Inland Revenue’s governance of the programme include a comprehensive and clear governance structure, an established methodology, and an advanced approach to managing risks...

Education for Māori: Relationships between schools and whānau

February 2015: This is the second report in a five-year programme of work to find out how well the education system supports Māori students to achieve their full potential. In this report, we look at whether schools and whānau are forming effective relationships. We found that there is a risk that some schools do not focus enough on improving their relationships because they think that they have better relationships with whānau than whānau think they do. Our report provides an opportunity for people to think about their schools and their relationships, to understand the differences between schools, and to work to build and use relationships more effectively.

Inquiry into property investments by Delta Utility Services Limited at Luggate and Jacks Point

March 2014: Delta lost about $5.9 million on the Luggate investment and has projected a loss of about $2.8 million for Jacks Point. The report identifies that there was too much focus on the likely profits and not enough consideration of risks of the market slowing or an exit strategy if things went wrong. It also suggests that Delta should have got independent advice before investing.

Summary: Inquiry into the Mangawhai community wastewater scheme

November 2013: This is a summary of our 420-page inquiry report. We describe how Kaipara District Council managed the Mangawhai community wastewater scheme between 1996 and 2012, as well as the role played by other agencies. The matters this report covers are long and often complex, but overall it is a woeful saga...

Inquiry into aspects of ACC's Board-level governance

August 2012: Our inquiry found no evidence that Ms Pullar's approach to one of ACC's Board members affected her claim to ACC. However, the Board had no formal policy to guide Board members on communication with individual claimants, a deficiency it is rectifying.