Part 3: Examples of performance reporting at a local level

Reporting on the public sector’s performance in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland.

In this Part, we provide examples of public organisations reporting their non-financial performance at a local level well. These public organisations are:

Potentially, about 90% of total public sector spending in Auckland comes from central government, but there is limited reporting on what that spending has achieved in the region. Because there are currently no legal requirements to report performance at a local level, most performance reporting focuses on whether outcomes have been achieved at a national level.

If public organisations wish to show performance at a local level, they should present a clear performance story that is supported by a clear and logical performance framework. A performance framework should use measures and targets that show how well a public organisation is achieving its outcomes and priorities.

Given that these and other variables can vary by region, it would be helpful for public organisations to report their performance in ways that are most relevant to the communities they serve.

As we mentioned in paragraphs 2.2 and 2.12, public organisations are increasingly publishing detailed information on their websites. This allows them more opportunities to report their performance at a local level.

In the rest of this Part, we provide examples of useful place-based performance reporting on Auckland. These highlight different approaches to reporting and serve as good practice examples that public organisations should consider when looking to improve their performance reporting at a local level.

Auckland Council

Auckland Council reports performance at the “Group” level, which includes Auckland Council, its four main council-controlled organisations,35 and the Port of Auckland (which is a wholly owned company of the Council). Although the Council has a legal requirement to report in a place-based way, it still serves as a good example of structuring performance reporting around a clear set of outcomes.

Auckland Council’s approach provides a good overview of the Group’s activities and progress against its statement of service performance. It clearly and comprehensively reports performance throughout the Group, and an integrated reporting approach helps readers understand how different activities have performed.

The Auckland Plan 2050 (the Plan) outlines Auckland Council’s view on how Auckland will expand and develop in the next 30 years and seeks to guide important investments in planning and infrastructure. In the Plan, the Council identified the following six high-level outcomes to help “deliver a better Auckland”:

  • Belonging and participation: All Aucklanders will be part of and contribute to society, access opportunities, and have the chance to develop to their full potential.
  • Māori identity and well-being: A thriving Māori identity is Auckland’s point of difference in the world – it advances prosperity for Māori and benefits all Aucklanders.
  • Homes and places: Aucklanders live in secure, healthy, and affordable homes, and have access to a range of inclusive public places.
  • Transport and access: Aucklanders will be able to get where they want to go more easily, safely, and sustainably.
  • Environment and cultural heritage: Aucklanders preserve, protect, and care for the natural environment as our shared cultural heritage for its intrinsic value and for the benefit of present and future generations.
  • Opportunity and prosperity: Auckland is prosperous, with many opportunities, and delivers a better standard of living for everyone.

These outcomes are part of Auckland Council’s performance framework, and it reports how its eight groups of activities have performed against them in its annual report.36 The eight groups of activities are the core council services provided by, or on behalf of, the Group.

Auckland Council’s integrated reporting framework provides a transparent approach to performance reporting. This gives readers of its annual report a clear view of the progress Auckland Council has made during the financial year.37

In addition to its annual report, Auckland Council also prepares reports on its progress against the Auckland Plan’s outcomes (annually and three-yearly) and its progress against the Auckland Plan’s development strategy (annually). Some local boards also publish reports of their achievements in the final year of their terms.

Auckland Council reports its progress towards its longer-term environmental outcomes in its State of the Environment reports every five years. It reports on progress towards its resource management outcomes in its monitoring reports on the Auckland Unitary Plan (under section 35 the Resource Management Act).

The Auckland District Health Board

Although the former Auckland District Health Board (Auckland DHB) was disestablished as part of the 2022 health system reforms, we consider that its performance reporting and performance framework were an effective example of place-based reporting.

Auckland DHB’s reporting framework was consistent with those of Counties Manukau and Waitematā District Health Boards, which were the other former district health boards in the Auckland region.

Auckland DHB’s performance framework linked together the government’s priority outcomes and health sector outcomes, alongside Auckland DHB’s strategic goals. This cascaded down to its long-term outcomes, which were supported by its medium-term outcomes, short-term priorities, and service-level measures.

This approach set out a clear performance framework that supported clear reporting on what Auckland DHB was trying to achieve.38

All three district health boards in the Auckland region had similar outcomes, service-level measurement areas, and indicators of how well they delivered against key output areas. All indicators included targets, and each district health board measured and reported its progress against these targets in its annual report. This helped illustrate how well they had performed in the region.

Reporting on achievement against each target clearly showed the successes of all three district health boards, as well as the common challenges they faced. This enabled readers of the reports to understand a region-wide view on performance.

The health system reforms now provide an opportunity to capitalise on the district health boards’ reporting approach. The district health boards’ reporting helped to highlight progress and challenges in Auckland, and we expect performance reporting against the New Zealand Health Plan will continue to show good practice in this respect. The interim Government Policy Statement on Health outlines a core set of 28 performance measures, many of which will be broken down by geographic areas.39 We support this approach to local reporting.

Since its establishment, Te Whatu Ora has also continued to publish health data on its website, and this provides useful tools to track aspects of performance throughout New Zealand. This includes data and statistics on rates of disease, hospital events, and service use by the districts that form Te Whatu Ora’s four regional divisions.40

The Health Quality and Safety Commission also provides a dashboard on a broad range of measures of the health system. This dashboard draws on particular health statistics that can also be broken down by individual districts. It includes measures for a broad range of health issues (such as immunisation and infection rates) and includes a focus on Māori health equity.

The Ministry of Education

The Ministry of Education’s purpose is to create an education system that delivers equitable and excellent outcomes in early childhood education, primary and secondary schools, and tertiary education institutions.

The Ministry of Education does not report its performance at a local level in its annual report. However, its Education Counts website provides valuable performance information about the education system for each region.

The Education Counts website is a good example of providing place-based information in an accessible way. The Ministry uses several key measures to show the education system’s performance by region. This primarily covers early childhood education and schools but also includes information on tertiary education.

Since the formation of the Auckland Council in 2010 (see paragraph 2.18), Auckland local board data has been presented to provide more nuanced analysis at a local level.41 A regional summary provides a focus on student achievement, and data is presented in tables and in a summary radar diagram.

Figure 4 compares Auckland’s performance against each measure for early childhood education centres and schools with the rest of New Zealand’s performance.

Figure 4
Key performance data for early childhood education centres and schools – Auckland compared with the rest of New Zealand

Key performance data for early childhood education centres and schools – Auckland compared with the rest of New Zealand

Source: Education Counts website.

These results show that school students in Auckland are more likely to complete NCEA Level 3 or above and enrol into tertiary education within one year of leaving school than students in the rest of New Zealand.

Areas where Auckland is not performing as well as the rest of New Zealand include age-standardised stand-down rates, suspensions, and exclusions. Additional data on the website also highlights that Māori and Pasifika students in Auckland are twice as likely to be stood down than Pākehā students.

The website has further information for specific measures at the regional and local board levels. Some of these correspond with outcome indicators in the Ministry of Education’s annual report.

The Education Counts website is a user-friendly resource that provides detailed data on education for all regions. The use of a radar diagram helps to present a clear performance story for the schools in the region. The website presents data clearly and also provides a useful breakdown of government funding for schools throughout a region.

The New Zealand Police

The Police are responsible for maintaining public safety, law enforcement, crime prevention, and community support. In the Auckland region, policing is split between three districts (Waitematā, Auckland, and Counties Manukau).

The Police report their performance against the three goals in their Statement of intent 2020-2025: safe homes, safe roads, and safe communities. The Police have recently set up a dedicated Performance and Data Directorate to strengthen the links between the Police’s data and the performance frameworks and measures that the Police report on annually.

Outside their annual reporting, the Police provide crime and performance data on their website. Much of this data can be sorted by region, and there is useful data for each of the individual police districts in Auckland. This essentially provides a place-based view on particular aspects of the Police’s performance framework.

A significant amount of data is from the Police’s recorded crime victims statistics, recorded crime offenders statistics, and demand and activity data. This information can also be compared with information from other regions in New Zealand.

The Police’s website contains detailed data and reports about the location and types of crime, and victim and offender statistics. Although there is no clear link to the performance framework that the Police use in their annual reports, the data includes many of the same performance measures.

For example, the website presents information about the type of proceedings brought against offenders. These can be broken down by method of proceedings, crime type, and district where the offending occurred. This corresponds to the measures the Police use in their annual report, which look at the total number of cases resolved by different methods of proceedings.

A useful feature of the website is the “Crime snapshot”,42 which provides a summary of crimes committed in an area by type, month, and year for the last three years. For Auckland, the data is presented by area unit, so the user can see where crime is occurring in their immediate community. It is also possible to compare data across other districts in New Zealand.

The Police’s website provides a good example of how public organisations can present data to the public. The customisable tables and crime snapshot help present clear performance information about crime and policing measures in Auckland. The website presents data in an intuitive way, allowing users to select areas of interest and time periods for different crime types.

These examples highlight different approaches that public organisations could consider using to provide more meaningful and local performance information to Aucklanders. Over time, clear links to these data sources in annual reports will also help public organisations to provide better place-based performance reporting to the public.

An Auckland-specific approach to performance reporting would help improve the transparency and accountability of a large area of public spending. It would also enable Aucklanders to understand how wider government outcomes are being achieved in their community. For example, an online “Auckland portal” that links data sets by sectors or themes would be a good way to present performance information to the public.

35: These are Auckland Transport, Watercare Services Limited, Panuku Development Auckland, and Tātaki Auckland Unlimited.

36: For the most recent report, see

37: In recognition of this, the Council was recently awarded the CPA Australia New Zealand Integrated Reporting Award – Public Sector for its Annual Report 2021/2022. This is the second time it has won this award.

38: For more information, see the most recent annual report at

39: See Ministry of Health, “Interim Government Policy Statement on Health 2022-2024”, at

40: For more information, see district health websites at

41: With the creation of Auckland Council, 21 local boards were established to provide governance at the local level in Auckland.

42: See