Saturday, July 20, 2024

Second local government review report released

A second draft report from the independent panel examining the future of New Zealand’s local government sector was released today.

Local Government Minister, Nanaia Mahuta said the new report was the next step in shaping the future direction of regional, district and city councils.

“The Government acknowledges the work of the Independent Panel guiding the Future for Local Government Review, which has released its draft report today and will soon seek public feedback,” Ms Mahuta said.  

“The Future for Local Government Review is very much the construct of local authorities themselves. This is the second of three documents which will be produced by the review team.”

The Minister said the Government was focused on prioritising ways to keep a lid on rate rises.

“We continue to support the sector in its efforts to engage with local communities in order to get the buy-in needed for any changes. The independent panel will now embark on a round of consultation with the wider local government sector to seek submissions, before producing its final report by June 2023,” she said.

“The sector has been clear about the changes needed to better provide for local communities. The Review was established at the sector’s request to examine these. It is now up to the sector to seize on the opportunities provided by the Review and help build a better future.

“Just as central government is preparing for what the world throws at us by keeping debt low and continuing to invest in a high-wage, low-emissions economy; local government also needs to respond to the challenges ahead, whether it is keeping a lid on rate rises, upgrading critical water infrastructure, climate change, or ensuring diverse voices are at the council table.

“Local democracy is critical for our society, and it is my expectation that the Panel will engage with and consider the views of as many New Zealanders as possible. I encourage everyone to have their say,” said Minister Mahuta. 

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