Local Government Minister, Nanaia Mahuta has welcomed an interim report on the Future for Local Government Review.
“Our system of local democracy and governance needs to evolve to be fit for the future. New Zealand is changing and growing, and there are some significant challenges presenting not only now with issues like COVID-19, future population growth, and climate change,” said Ms Mahuta.
“This first report shows that local authorities can be innovative and collaborative, and there is a breadth of opportunities for local government and the role it can play in contributing to the wellbeing of all of us living in Aotearoa.”
She said the report also outlined the big issues local governance is facing, and highlights the need to modernise the systems and structures designed many years go to ensure resilience and wellbeing of communities for generations to come.
“There are significant funding, capacity and capability pressures across local authorities at present.”
“This is a starting point for strengthening our local democratic participation, empowering communities to have a voice in local decision-making, more collaboration between central and local government, and the role of Māori and other local communities in local government,” the Minister said.
She said the report was the first milestone in a two-year process.
In the next phase of the Review, the panel will engage with community leaders and groups, business people, young people, iwi and Māori and a wide range of other diverse communities. Their programme will include online and in-person workshops and wānanga, online surveys, stakeholder conversations, and local government meetings.
“Local democracy is vital to the fabric of New Zealand society, and it is my expectation is that the Panel will make sure that as many voices are heard as possible. I encourage everyone to have their say,” said Ms Mahuta.
You can read more about the Future for Local Government Review and read the interim report at: www.futureforlocalgovernment.govt.nz