Crs adopt 22/23 report

The deliberation was reached by an Invercargill City Council board on Wednesday. Photo: ODT files
Invercargill City Council. Photo: ODT files
Invercargill City councillors have adopted the 2022/23 annual report, which shows they have met more performance measures than the previous year.

Council met 71 of 99 performance measures for the year financial year ending June 30, 2023, an increase from 63 of 99 from 2021/22.

Invercargill Mayor Nobby Clark commended the auditing process this year, saying the end of the last audit was "horrible".

The nearly four-month delay of the previous audit frustrated him to the point where he positioned to not sign the annual report, which would then require a report to go to Parliament that he hoped would trigger high-level discussion with the auditor general, he said.

He credited this stance as generating a push from other councils that saw a change in auditors to a "current bunch that are really good".

He also had an issue with the escalating costs of the annual audits, he said.

Group manager finance and assurance Patricia Christie said the council’s achievements in the financial year included the completion of the work to Anderson House and the finish of City Streets stage one.

"While discussions are ongoing about stage two, I don’t think I am alone in saying stage one has really transformed our city.”

The financial period also saw a large amount of capital delivery, with $52 million spent.

Over the past two years, the council had invested $99.5m in capital projects, more than was delivered between 2018 and 2021 in total, Mrs Christie said.

While the council’s asset position was stable, it was reporting an operating loss of $10.8m, a decrease of $17.3m on 2022.

“This deficit was not a surprise to us as it was something we had forecasted in our quarterly reporting. Asset inflation has significantly increased our asset value, which in turn increased depreciation expense. We have been managing our expenditure accordingly.

“Looking ahead, we are now focusing on returning to a balanced budget while still ensuring we can deliver projects we know the community is keen for, such as the build of our new museum.”

The council group has reported a deficit after tax of $51.2m. This included a reduction in the value of the investment in Invercargill Central Ltd held by Invercargill City Holdings Ltd.

“Council’s decision to invest in Invercargill Central Ltd was not one made for commercial benefit, but rather community benefit. We knew we’d need to hold this investment for a long time.”