The need for comparative analysis

A fair question. The answer is simply this. You may have your own Council’s data well “covered” but by itself, this will tell only a very limited story. Whether competing for resources or responding to media enquiries, your Council’s performance can only be fully judged alongside the results of others. Hence the need … for comparative reporting. See more below “Observations”.

So what sort of material is covered?


  • Findings for a Council and for all other NZ TLA’s … drawn from a wide range of credible public sources … enhanced and informed further with many CPR special purpose financial and economic benchmarks- ratios, using graphical, textural and tabular formats.
  • Numerous datasets of standard analytical and planning tables in grouped and graded sub- sets for an expanding range of expenditures including demographic, geographic and social Council particulars. This includes a full inventory of all public opinion-community satisfaction and other surveys.
  • A taxonomy … a huge “list” of all (largely web based) sources of research-analytical based information of NZ local government Long Term Plans, Financial Statement’s, Studies and other economic and financial data.

OBSERVATIONS … more on comparatives:

  • A comparative basis for Council performance … or simply put, answers the “how do we compare” issues. Surprisingly these are only seldom addressed amongst the barrage of local government statistics* now readily available … *[StatsNZ for example rarely report beyond the individual Council level] ... and yet …
  • Comparisons and ratings … are the! most often requested settings for findings that invariably are required for debates around Council performance.
  • What has been lacking to date to assist in these skirmishes, is a rich and wide-ranging body of comparative knowledge, data and analysis that cannot be readily or easily compiled by individual Councils.
  • So we conceived the CPR site … to fill this gap as the CPR site has no competitors or alternative.
  • Perhaps its key positive feature, is that all of its information is derived from sources that are independent of Councils. Data is reliable, it is mostly taken from audited sources developed by independent official State organisations and professional third-party agencies … all of whom have no conflicted Council or other commercial interests.
  • In summary the “CPR Report product-website delivers:
    • A rich and wide-ranging body of knowledge, much of it in a comparative context
    • Comprising data and analysis not readily or easily compiled by individual Councils (it has no competitor or alternative) and
    • It retains independence from Councils being reported and involves no conflicted interests.

In the real world

New Zealand Territorial Local Authorities (NZ TLA’s) are continually being asked (assailed?) … by ratepayers, the media and others to “Please Explain” … for some aspect of their Council’s policies and performance … and most often these requests come tagged with the requirement to provide some context and to … “Compare your results with other Councils”.

Councils may have some of their own data on the research subject … but can still be in the dark on the key issue of …“How do we Compare”?

To be able to fully assess and compile a sensible and defensible response to difficult policy topics and questions of this kind, Councils need the specialised-customised-comparative information contained within the … “Comparative Performance and Research” … of the “CPR” product-website.

In building the CPR resource, numerous data sources have been tapped. These include public domain reports drawn from reliable (often “Official”) sources including … Statistics NZ, the DIA, Council’s own sources, NZTA, LGNZ, the OAG, Rating Agencies, media and others, for example the Banks,, “The Ratepayers Report” PwC, Infometrics etc …

Significant value is added to this blizzard of source data by being enhanced with CPR’s own analysis and specialised reporting, often accompanied by customised critiques and findings together with (the Agencies and Council’s own) assignment-focussed reportage.

Initially at least, the resources of the CPR product-website, are principally focused on the economic, financial and performance metrics of Council affairs.

Important notes concerning the CPR Development site

Keen to show prospective subscribers the colour of our cloth … the CPR development site at was set up with this in mind. Your (subscribers) assessments therefore need to take into account that the development site …

  • Displays only a very small sample of comparative financial and other graphs-tables etc within the Comparative … Section  One ... there are planned to be literally “hundreds” more of these special purpose-benchmark statistical comparative reports as the site develops and expands
  • Similarly, the list of reports-studies in the Resources … Section Three … is also a very small sample, initially just those taken straight from the net … to be joined later by subscriber collegial-contributions of your own best-in-class policy work
  • Future growth of content over time will occur organically and incrementally … as our reach and subscriber base expands. Our Blog (the author’s and “your” contributions and comment areas) are confidently expected to add cutting edge and current topics to our taxonomies. Blog protocols governing content will be lightly moderated a la the recently updated rules based on those of Kiwiblog/Farrar.
  • The local government Listserv activity will continue in parallel with and supportive of the CPR growth path.  The key difference is that the CPR is targeted, it will be (relatively) uncluttered and note …it will be ”gated”. Subscribers will have access (just as now do NZ Herald readers) with our own “Premium Content” … for which they will have paid a modest annual subscription. They will also hold their own secure Council-specific key for their access to the live site.
  • The updated August 2021 site includes the recent Report Generator and Dashboard enhancements. The live premium content site includes the most current local government financial statistics content that is; the council’s financial statements dated 30 June 2020. See also the annual timetable of these changes.