Good report from Audit NZ

By ILONA HANNE

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The Stratford District Council adopted its Annual Report last week at the first council meeting of the new triennium.

In recommending the Annual Report be adopted, director of finance, Mark Weidenbohm told councillors Audit NZ would be issuing an unmodified opinion.

The annual report sets out what council has achieved in the last year and looks at the progress made against the long term plan and annual plan.

Under the Local Government Act all councils are required to produce an annual report, and to have financial and performance information audited.

Associate audit director Andrew Clark spoke at the meeting, telling councillors an unmodified opinion, in layman's terms "is the good one, or in other words, the financial and non financial information contained in the report is correct".

He said the audit had run smoothly.

"From our point of view, the audit went well. We got all the information we needed. There is nothing unusual in this report, everything is standard."

The annual report shows most targets for the last financial year were met by the District Council, with a total of 82.69 per cent of all targets achieved. Only 12.5 per cent of targets were not achieved, with some targets either not being applicable or new measures introduced and not able to be counted as achieved.

Targets not achieved included admissions to the TSB pool. Councillors were told that while pool admissions were down by just under 11,000 this was due to two shut down periods while the pool was being redeveloped and repaired.

Other areas with targets not fully met included resource consents, building and dog control, water supply and roading. In dog control, a target of 100 per cent had been set for known registered dogs to be registered by June 30. Of the 2142 known dogs, 32 were not registered by the date due to non payment of the fee.

Targets for 60 per cent or more of building and resource consent applications to be made in digital form were not met, with only 5 per cent of users choosing to digitally lodge their building consent applications and fewer than 20 per cent of resource consent applications being made digitally.

Water supply issues included a positive E.coli sample in the Toko reticulation in February this year, and one out of 35 fire hydrants tested not meeting the criteria of the NZFS Code of Practice. The hydrant has now been replaced with a compliant one.

The target for rural roading condition was not met, which director of assets, Sven Hanne, says was due to the June 2015 storm event causing funds to be diverted to repairs after the storm.

The storm event was also given as the reason behind the $1.16 million deficit reported by Council for the financial year, with the cost of the storm and flooding event being $5.2 million. While $3.8 million of that amount was covered by the NZ Transport Agency the rest will come from Council reserves.

Mayor Neil Volzke gave his congratulations to all staff.

"It was very pleasing to hear we will receive an unmodified opinion."

He said he was pleased with the report and appreciated the huge amount of work put in by Council staff in preparing it.

- Stratford Press

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