Wairoa District Council Enhances Rating Calculation Tool.

January 2003

The township of Wairoa is on the Pacific Coast Highway, in the North Island of New Zealand, between Gisborne and Napier. The district attractions include Te Urewera which is New Zealand's third largest national park and the Mahia Peninsula which is the eastern seaboard of New Zealand, which goes out the Pacific Ocean.

Wairoa District Council

The Wairoa District Council wanted to review their Revenue and Finance Policy as well as their Funding Policy and rating calculations tools. Rating calculations to date had meet expectation, but it required specialised knowledge to drive all facades of the rating calculation process.

Computer Craft were invited to review the procedures in place. This review included testing the tools currently being used and to provide recommendations on what enhancement if any were required so that for on-going years they had a rating tools which had flexibility to support changes in rating policy, was easy to understand and user friendly.

The Solution

Computer Craft reported back to the council that the backbone of their Rating Calculation system was solid, and that the shortfalls lay in the efforts required when a simple change needed to be done. Also there was no ability with their current software to ask "What if..." and quickly generate a new perspective of the implications.

Computer Craft proposed that the council needed to enhance the existing tool so that:

  • The user interface was clear and easy to understand.
  • The operator training would be minimal.
  • The operations process was well documented.
  • The Business logic was well documented.
  • The rating calculation was formalised
  • When changes were made to rating factors and or rating iterations, the impact of the change was immediately apparent. This would lead to the ability for the user to provide "What if" processing and analysis.
  • Hard copy should be easy to read. The final reports should include
    • A single summary page.
    • A statistics / results / comparison page's, where the information can be related back to the Funding Policy document.
    • The full blown calculations
    • The impact of the change on sample properties
  • The process in ensuing years should not be a drama.

The council considered the proposal and then instructed Computer Craft to proceed with the solution. The council have now reaped the benefits of their new Rates Calculation tool for 21 years

Technologies Deployed

The Rating Calculation tool has been deployed on an Microsoft Excel Workbook. User interaction is minimal and all formula's are locked down and 'check totals' are deployed to ensure the accuracy of results.