South Island Strategic Alliance – a coalition of the willing

Since midway through last year, South Island local government representatives have been discussing the need for South Island councils to work more co-operatively. This would mean working together on joint projects such as procurement where efficiencies or cost savings may be achieved as well as taking a combined approach when dealing with the Government and other stake-holders on certain issues.

The outcome of these discussions has been a decision to form a South Island Strategic Alliance (SISA). This grouping will be a coalition of the willing, rather than any structured governance or management structure.

 A Terms of Reference has been crafted to provide a guiding document for strategic direction and this is now being adopted by the constituent Councils. Hurunui District Council adopted the terms of reference yesterday at its Strategy and Policy Committee meeting.

“There are increasing expectations from our communities and central government has rightly directed Councils to look for cost savings and increased efficiencies in the way we deliver services” said Mayor Winton Dalley. “The members of the alliance have already committed to achieving these goals and SISA will provide an opportunity to get real and achievable benefits in areas such as roading, information technology, library services and shared procurement.”

“Within this alliance we will have the ability to maintain the unique needs and aspirations of the communities we represent while having available the opportunity to access managerial and economic efficiencies across commonly used resources. This should give us the ability to maintain and improve levels of service as we deal with increasing funding constraints.

“We would only engage with the alliance on issues where it was clear there was an advantage to our community” he concluded.

SISA will build on the links many of the Councils have with central government initiatives already in both shared services and joint procurement further strengthening those relationships and creating greater opportunities for savings.

South Island Alliance members

• Central Otago District Council

• Clutha District Council

• Dunedin City Council

• Environment Southland

• Gore District Council

• Invercargill City Council

• Otago Regional Council

• Queenstown-Lakes District Council

• Southland District Council

• Waitaki District Council

• Ashburton District Council

• Buller District Council

• Chatham Islands Council

• Environment Canterbury

• Grey District Council

• Hurunui District Council

• Kaikoura District Council

• Mackenzie District Council

• Marlborough District Council

• Nelson City Council

• Selwyn District Council

• Tasman District Council

• Timaru District Council

• Waimakariri District Council

• Waimate District Council

• West Coast Regional Council

• Westland District Council