Environment Canterbury

Auditing the Future: 2009

Environment Canterbury (ECan) is the largest regional council in New Zealand by area. It operates in an environment with a number of high-profile issues. One of them is water quality, because of land use intensification. A second issue is air quality, because of emissions from home heating systems. ECan also faces many other issues. The need to work on issues throughout the whole region is a particular challenge for ECan (for example, the perception of rural areas that priority is given to Christchurch and urban-based issues).

ECan’s LTCCP has its strength in the presentation of its activity statements. Each activity statement is clearly set out. ECan uses colour, graphs, and diagrams appropriately, and cross-referenced other relevant parts of the LTCCP well.

Each activity section begins with discussing the main issues facing the activity and identifying ECan’s contribution to achieve progress on these issues.

ECan uses a range of graphics to support the majority of levels of service, performance measures, and targets. The graphics reinforce the written information and make the information more accessible for the reader.

This approach is also used successfully in the financial summary for each activity. The financial summary is supported by a pie chart that depicts the expenditure for that activity in proportion to the expenditure of the whole organisation. A bar graph is included to show the components of the income for the activity in each year of the LTCCP. This presentation makes the financial aspect of the activity statements easier for the reader to understand.

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