independent review of local government announced today is a genuine opportunity
to address a wave of serious issues across housing, transport and water by
strengthening the ability of councils to execute, address long standing
infrastructure funding and financing challenges and ensure that New Zealand
becomes a more competitive, equitable and sustainable society,” says Hamish
Glenn Policy Director at Infrastructure New Zealand.
Mahuta has today announced a major review of local government to be chaired by
former Waimakariri CEO Jim Palmer and with panel support from John Ombler QSO,
Antoine Coffin, Gael Surgenor and Penny Hulse.
are very pleased to see the review panel has been given a broad mandate. The
panel will consider the future of local government, including roles, functions
and partnerships; representation and governance; and funding and financing.
provide critical infrastructure services across New Zealand, including the
planning, funding, delivery and regulation of billions of dollars of assets.
current local government system was largely set in place in 1989 and is simply
not geared for the kinds of challenges we see today.
environmental issues like climate change and freshwater degradation have
combined with major economic trends around remote working and digitisation to
fundamentally change our expectations of local government standards and
the context of inadequate funding and financing arrangements for
infrastructure, councils have not been able to keep up.
review announced today gives the country a two year programme to discuss
exactly what type of system might work better.
needs to be a genuine first principles discussion around what services are best
delivered locally, which services regionally and what centrally.
strategic planning and infrastructure delivery needs a degree of scale that 67
territorial authorities are not optimised to implement.
equally, there are a range of public services which do not benefit from scale
and which can and should be delivered closer to affected communities.
is very important that central government itself keeps an open mind to reform
as the review may identify opportunities to transfer responsibilities and
resourcing to local government to better incentivise decisions.
“This is a huge
opportunity not just to strengthen local government but to improve the entire
system of domestic decision making so that New Zealanders continue to enjoy
high incomes, a sustainable environment and equal access to opportunities,”
For further information and
comment contact Hamish Glenn on 021 034 7229