Increasingly, public sector organisations are being encouraged or required to provide service performance information in addition to financial statements. Yet, reporting is often inferior, as shown by this example of local governments in New Zealand. Poor quality reporting has led to different initiatives to improve service performance reporting quality, and this study investigates the effectiveness of three initiatives undertaken by the Auditor-General. Drawing on contemporary institutional and legitimacy theories, we find that normative pressure in tandem with threats to legitimacy is influential in improving service performance reporting. However, despite mimetic examples also being used, the analysis shows it is an ineffective tool in the New Zealand local government context.