Sustainability and evaluation key themes

Published: Wed 14 Nov 2007 09:19 AM
Sustainability, integration and evaluation key themes for new Regional Council
Sustainability, integration and evaluation are key themes coming out in a restructure of Greater Wellington Regional Council committees.
At a two-day offsite meeting late week, new Council Chair Fran Wilde proposed a new set of committees and terms of reference aimed at delivering greater integration of Council activities, an overall focus on the theme of sustainability and better opportunities to assess and evaluate the effectiveness of Council delivery.
"With such great uncertainty around the issues of energy and climate, it is imperative that we look at our overall delivery through the lens of sustainability, ensuring that economic, cultural, social and environmental needs can continue to be met into the future," Fran Wilde said. "The next few years will be critical ones for the region as we face rising oil prices, requirements to reduce emissions and to become carbon neutral, as well as the need for a robust economy.
"A key aspect of the new setup on the Council is ensuring greater integration of our work to make sure we do not have a silo mentality.
"Choices in many areas of our work are becoming more constrained, so as well as eliminating internal barriers, we need highly collaborative regional working arrangements. The most obvious solutions may not always be the best ones and as a Council we must work closely with local authorities and other organisations to share knowledge and ideas," she said.
"In addition, we should not be afraid to make changes to programmes or activities if there is a better way of delivering. This requires rigor in our evaluation of what works and what doesn't.
"The new committee structure and terms of reference are designed to encourage new behaviour which, in turn, will hopefully result in better decision making."
In a further move to strengthen regional collaboration, Councillors have agreed to invite an iwi representative onto each of the Council's standing committees.
Fran Wilde said that this would breathe new life into the partnership principle and would be important in ensuring that a Maori view was presented during the detailed work of the committees.
Elected as Council Chair a week ago, Fran Wilde has now had one-on-one meetings with five of the region's eight mayors and plans to complete this first round of consultation as soon as possible.
She would like to see Council committees and the Council itself meeting outside of Wellington city when appropriate and is requesting each mayor to host the Regional Council at one of its meetings this term.
Fran Wilde is also keen to meet with other regional organisations but said her first priority was to get alongside the local authorities.
Council endorse the new committee structure at its Tuesday 13 November meeting. The new committees are:
Regional Sustainability
Transport and Access
Parks and Utility Services
Catchment Management
Finance, Evaluation and Risk
Greater Wellington regional Council also has reporting to it the Regional Land Transport Committee and the Wellington Regional Strategy Committee, both of which comprise representatives from the local authorities in the region as well as other appointees.

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