Local government reports

the local government sector (city, district, and unitary councils, and council-controlled organisations).
Challenges facing licensing trusts

October 2014: This report brings our observations and concerns about licensing trusts to the attention of those with an interest in this part of the public sector. We found that some licensing trusts are well managed and quite successful, despite current economic challenges. However, increasing numbers of licensing trusts are struggling with profitability and financial viability. Some licensing trusts also resist the costs of public sector external accountability...

Watercare Services Limited: Review of service performance

May 2014: Overall, Watercare strives to provide its customers with good customer service, and it has been largely successful. In our view, it has been largely successful. Watercare inherited a complex set of tariff arrangements and has been progressively standardising them. However, Watercare could improve some aspects of its performance – in particular, by providing its customers with better information about how it operates and what customers can expect...

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.

Inquiry into the Mangawhai community wastewater scheme

November 2013: This report describes 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...

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...

Using development contributions and financial contributions to fund local authorities’ growth-related assets

August 2013: In their long-term plans, local authorities set out their forecast growth, proposed land use, and the infrastructure that might be needed in at least the next 10 years. We have reviewed how five local authorities use “growth charges”, such as development contributions and financial contributions, to fund the assets that they will need for the growth that they expect ...

Insuring public assets

June 2013: The purpose of this paper is to provide a high-level view of the extent of insurance for many of the assets in the public sector and the main changes since 2010. By doing this, we hope to encourage further discussion by provoking relevant questions about insurance of public assets...

Auckland Council: Transition and emerging challenges

December 2012: This report sets out our observations from interviews with more than 50 people who were involved in designing and implementing the Auckland local government reforms and are involved in the governance and management of the Auckland Council. It also draws on our own audit work with the Council.

Managing freshwater quality: Challenges for regional councils

September 2011: We carried out an audit to provide an independent view of how effectively four selected regional councils are managing and controlling land use and related activities for the purpose of maintaining and enhancing freshwater quality in their regions...

Planning to meet the forecast demand for drinking water in Auckland

August 2011: A letter from the Auditor-General to the Chief Executives of Auckland Council and Watercare Services Limited on governance issues and a report on our initial findings and recommendations for Watercare to consider when developing its long-term plans for asset management and for funding arrangements...

Final audits of Auckland's dissolved councils, and managing leaky home liabilities

June 2011: This report summarises our auditing of the financial and service performance statements in the final annual reports of the eight dissolved Auckland local authorities and 19 terminated council-controlled organisations. The report also looks at the effects on local authorities of leaky home liabilities - effects greatest in cities, especially Auckland...