Invercargill City Council has appointed James Crichton to undertake an independent evaluation of the current standard of governance performance at the Council.
Mr Crichton’s role is to provide Council with a thorough analysis of the current state of play, including what is working well, what could be improved, and suggestions or strategies for improvement.
Bruce Robertson, who was appointed to his role last week, will continue in his role to support and guide Council in addressing the Department of Internal Affairs’ (DIA) concerns.
His Worship the Mayor Sir Tim Shadbolt said Councillors were interested in what the outcomes of the evaluation might be, and keen to get on with the work of addressing issues and finding a way forward.
“As requested, we have provided the DIA with the key decisions that this Council must make in the coming weeks and months, and the Council recognises the importance of these to our City,” Sir Tim said.
Chief Executive Clare Hadley said Mr Crichton would provide an interim briefing before a final report to Council in late October.
“Mr Crichton’s role is not just to consider Council’s past performance, or any issues which may have led to the DIA’s letter, but also to provide recommendations to both elected members and senior staff on what can be done to improve leadership in future,” Mrs Hadley said.
“This might mean extra training for elected members and staff, or it might simply include observations and insights into actions Council can take to resolve its differences and demonstrate the strong, unified leadership the Minister for Local Government seeks.”
Mrs Hadley said ratepayers could be assured that it was business-as-usual for Council’s services, regardless of the ongoing review process.
“There won’t be any change to the way you access, use, and engage with Council services, whether that be popping into the Bluff Service Centre or Civic Administration Building, visiting Splash Palace or the Library, or simply going online to pay your rates or dog registration,” she said.
“Our friendly staff remain focussed on our community and on our customers.”