The government established the Review into the Future for
Local Government in April this year. The review is mainly in response to
Local Government New Zealand and Taituarā – Local Government Professionals
Aotearoa calling for a programme of work to ‘reimagine the role and function of
local government’ to build a sustainable system that delivers enhanced
community wellbeing outcomes.
The review is relevant since the overhaul of the three
waters sector and the resource management system reform are foremost among a
suite of reform programmes that will reshape our system of local government.
The review’s overall purpose is to identify how our system
of local democracy and governance needs to evolve over the next 30 years to
improve the wellbeing of New Zealand communities and the environment, and
actively embody the Treaty of Waitangi partnership. The review’s long-term
focus means it will look to relevant reports such as those from the
Productivity Commission but not limit itself to these.
Work has been ongoing in the background, with the group
engaging with key stakeholders. Infrastructure New Zealand met with
officials a couple of weeks ago. Key topics we raised were governance matters, whether
mayoral powers need to be extended, funding and financing, the remit of
council-controlled organisations, and future proposals around council
The review will consider, report and make recommendations on
this matter to the Minister of Local Government, Hon Nanaia Mahuta.
An interim report will be presented to the minister by the
end of next month (30 September) signalling the probable direction of the
review and key next steps.
Substantive work will then be undertaken on answering the
priority questions identified during the initial scoping work. A draft report containing
recommendations will be issued for public consultation by 30 September
The final report will be presented to Hon Mahuta
by 30 April 2023. Given the review’s timeline, the review will likely feature
in future editions of InfraRead.