Monday, July 15, 2024

New Local Government Minister begins councils tour

New Associate Minister of Local Government, Kieran McAnulty, is today beginning a series of visits to all 55 rural and provincial councils across the motu.

“Local government plays a crucial role in our democratic system, ensuring people have a voice in the leadership of their community,” Mr McAnulty said.

“Each local council is distinct and in taking on the role of Associate Minister of Local Government, with a particular focus on regional issues, I believe it’s important I connect with each one, to hear directly about the particular issues facing their communities, and support them in areas of potential progress and growth.

“I understand the challenges that rural councils and communities face, which often include lower rating bases, rates pressures, housing pressures and an increase in climate related natural disasters.

“There are also big projects happening across the board which the Government has been working hard on, and I’m keen to continue that work,” he said.

It is the first time New Zealand has had a Minister with delegations across Local Government, Transport, and Emergency Management – all portfolios which have a considerable impact on local councils.

The Minister said meeting with rural and provincial councils will provide an opportunity to make connections across these portfolios from a local government perspective.

“As a Government we are committed to collaborating and working constructively with local councils and so it was important to me to make the effort as early as possible to meet all the rural and provincial councils,” he said.

“These visits are a chance for me to listen to the rural and provincial councils, and continue the work of my colleagues of engaging with rural New Zealand.”

Minister McAnulty will meet with all 55 councils ahead of the local government elections in early October. The trip will start with the Waimakariri, Hurunui, Selwyn, Horowhenua, Kāpiti Coast, Western Bay of Plenty and Whakatāne District Councils over the next week. He will then meet with councils across Southland, Otago, Gisborne, Wairoa, Central Hawke’s Bay, the Tararua District and Wairarapa on the week of 11 July.

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