Nelson City Council discussed the future governance of its arms length entities in a confidential session at last week’s Council meeting. Aware of the importance of the matters under consideration, Council felt that it was best to leave any decisions until after the October election. In that way the new incoming Council would be able to consider the issues fully and set its own direction.
Even so, a couple of improvements to existing arrangements will be made over the coming months.
PriceWaterhouseCoopers, authors of the review report, had recommended further enhancing the formal monitoring and evaluation of Council Controlled trading Organisations – specifically Nelmac, Port Nelson and Nelson Airport. Council has decided to adopt that recommendation. Chief Executive Keith Marshall says “This is a move to a more professional approach to the Council’s shareholdings in such important assets. It is important for us to better understand how our shareholdings are doing.”
The second action arising is about giving a clear direction to all Council Controlled Organisations about what Council expects from them in advance of them preparing their annual formal Statement of Intent (SOI). Current practice around the country is for Councils to provide feedback after those organisations have already prepared a draft. “We think it is just common sense to give them a clear statement of our expectations ahead of their planning – that way we have a better chance of those organisations meeting Council’s needs.” Mr Marshall says.
“These two changes represent us being far more proactive in our approach to our oversight of what are important activities that Council oversees. It’s about us being becoming even better in our governance and shareholding roles.”