Local government financial analyst Larry Mitchell is defending his league table following claims by the Whangarei District Council's (WDC) senior financial manager that there are inherent flaws in the data.
Mr Mitchell recently said the WDC should be on red alert because of a poor ranking in his 2012 Local Government League Table.
Whangarei placed 62 out of 67 territorial authorities.
WDC Support Services group manager Alan Adcock said the data comparison that formed the basis for the league table was flawed, and he believed the credit rating given to the council by Standard and Poor's was a more robust and credible approach.
Mr Mitchell responded this week saying his data has not been seriously questioned in 15 years of preparing reports for territorial authorities and he challenged Mr Adcock to elaborate. Mr Mitchell said he would be prepared to give a free presentation to Whangarei ratepayers about his league table and Whangarei's place on it.
In response to questions by the Northern Advocate, Mr Adcock said: "While the financial reporting of all councils in NZ has to comply with IFRS and other accounting standards, there is still a great deal of latitude in the way information is presented.
"In our opinion this makes it virtually impossible to make direct 'apples with apples' comparisons between councils, which Mr Mitchell's reports purport to do.
"We support the concept of league tables, but only where the underlying data is based on identical reporting frameworks. Until this common framework is in place, we do not find reports like Mr Mitchell's credible, despite his good intentions."
Residents interested in attending Mr Mitchell's presentation can register their interest by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.