Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Grey council withdraws from LGNZ

Grey District Council has withdrawn its membership with Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ).

Mayor, Tania Gibson (pictured, left) addressed ongoing concerns to the CE of LGNZ at the monthly Council meeting, stating that while there was strength in a united voice from smaller councils to central government, “the LGNZ voice has not been from the Coast song sheet over recent years”.

“We have been struggling with this for as long as I have been Mayor and it is a conversation we have had many times,” she said.

“We’ve put LGNZ on notice after a few turbulent years in the Three Waters space and its abysmal failures in interactions with the government. We took up membership with like-minded councils on C4LD and it was great to be working with this group that saw concise action and the development of models and a way forward to advocate for us.”

LGNZ is led by a National Council of elected Mayors from across New Zealand. It aims to provide support and training for Local Government elected members and facilitate relationships between Local and Central Government.

Mayor Gibson said that “despite repeated conversations and visits, LGNZ has failed to seek Coast input on issues that directly affect the district, and as a result Council has become increasingly disillusioned with the organisation and lost faith that it represents the best interests of local government”.

“The money we pay to LGNZ to be a member, along with the additional expenses of travel and attending conferences, has to be weighed up against what we are actually getting out of this relationship for our ratepayers. I am struggling to see the value,” she said.

In his report to Council, Acting CE, Paul Pretorius (pictured, right) said a number of other local authorities had also exited LGNZ, “watering down the organisation’s role as primary voice for local government”.

He also said the membership subscription for 2024 had been received for an amount of $49,348.25 – an increase of $6,436.72 or 15% on last year’s subscription.

Grey District Council joins Auckland, West Coast Regional, Kaipara and Westland District Councils, which have also withdrawn memberships to LGNZ.

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