Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Local Government Commissioners named

Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the appointment of three commissioners to Mana Kāwanatanga ā Rohe | Local Government Commission.

The appointed commissioners are:

  • Brendan Duffy, Chair
  • Bonita Bigham
  • Sue Bidrose

The Local Government Commission was initially established in 1947 to consider proposals for local government reorganisation. Over time, oversight of representation arrangements and promoting good practice have been added to its roles.

Most recently the Commission made decisions on representation arrangements for this year’s local elections for 31 councils, many of which involved the establishment of Māori wards. It also recently conducted a review of local authority codes of conduct which will see the development of a governance education framework for elected members and council staff.

“The Commission fills a valuable role of promoting good local government throughout New Zealand and has a particular responsibility for boundaries and representation,” Ms Mahuta said.

“Brendan Duffy has extensive experience of local government including many years as Mayor and Councillor on the Horowhenua District Council. He has led the Commission since 2019 and his reappointment will ensure we retain his vast institutional knowledge while supporting the transition of new members.

Bonita Bigham.

“I am also pleased that Bonita Bigham and Sue Bidrose have both been appointed as commissioners, providing the expertise needed to help communities focus on important issues.

“Bonita has been a temporary commissioner since 2021 and a valuable contributor. She brings an extensive background in local government and governance, including Treaty settlement work and involvement in a variety of community organisations. Sue also has over 15 years’ experience at the senior management level of local government and is currently Chief Executive of AgResearch.

Dr Sue Bidrose.

“I am confident these appointments will ensure that the Commission continues to be representative of the community and will further foster strong and effective local democracy,” the Minister said.

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