Saturday, May 15, 2021
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HomePoliticalLocal Government Review Once-in-a-generation Chance To Be Bold

Local Government Review Once-in-a-generation Chance To Be Bold

This once-in-a-generation opportunity to change the
machinery behind local government cannot ignore some
significant challenges facing local democracy, Property
Council of New Zealand Chief Executive Leonie Freeman

“Today’s announcement that a review into the
future of local government is welcome news for many in the
property industry frustrated by barriers to growth and
unleashing opportunity and potential.

“We welcome
the opportunity to help shape the way our local communities
are governed. It’s not only important for building houses
and unlocking critical infrastructure, but it enables
thriving cities and communities where people want to live,
work and play.

“The status quo isn’t working. The
Review Panel needs to be bold in its recommendations and not
lose focus of what this is about.

issues around funding and financing should be addressed.
Kiwis should not have to keep getting whacked in the wallet
each year with unaffordable rates rises.

authorities should have more levers and tools to fund
infrastructure and development spending outside of
development contributions and rates. The Productivity
Commission’s report into local government funding and
financing makes a series of important recommendations which
we hope the Review Panel take up.

“Likewise, in many
areas around New Zealand there is too much bureaucratic
duplication. Amalgamation of authorities where it makes
sense has to be on the agenda. At a time where the
Government is amalgamating health services, resource
management plans and polytechs, it is a no-brainer to also
look at how our local authorities could work better together
and, if need be, amalgamate to achieve better local
outcomes. The conversation should be about ensuring the best
possible representation while delivering the services our
communities expect.

“With two years until the final
report will be delivered, the Government needs to make sure
other major reform pieces – like resource management and
climate change – are aligned and avoid unintended

“Property Council wants to play a
constructive, supportive role to ensure the Review Panel
hears the voices and concerns of the property sector. Now is
the opportunity for the future of local government to focus
on the issues which directly impact our communities and work
towards better local

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