Government rejects Future for Local Government review recommendations

The government has rejected the recommendations of the Future for Local Government review.

The report, which was released last year, found communities were not well-served by the relationship between central and local government and called for radical overhaul.

It made 17 recommendations, including the creation of a Crown department to manage the relationship, four-year local election terms, funding increases, and strong partnerships with iwi.

At the time, panel chairperson Jim Palmer told RNZ if implemented the changes could be “world-leading”.

  • Future for Local Government review: What you need to know
  • The review was announced by the former Labour government in April 2021 to focus on how the local democracy system needed to evolve over the next 30 years.

    But in a statement Local Government Minister Simeon Brown said the review was a response to the previous government’s Three Waters reforms

    He said it had lost its way with recommendations on lowering the voting age, changing the voting system and removing local voices from establishing Māori wards.

    “These issues are a distraction from the key issues facing local government, such as the need to reform funding and financing, and planning for long-term economic growth, housing and infrastructure, which is what our government is focused on.”

    The coalition had reversed Labour’s water reforms and was finding new ways for local and central government to work together, he said.

    “The government is establishing a regional deals framework and unlocking new funding and financing tools to enable central and local government to work together in delivering the services and infrastructure Kiwis rely on.

    “We are setting clear expectations that councils focus on the delivery of core services and value for money.”

    The coalition government would not be responding to the recommendations made by the report, he said.

    Labour local government spokesperson Kieran McAnulty said that was an insult to a sector which had been screaming out for change for years.

    Labour MP Kieren McAnulty

    “It’s bloody annoying, actually, because I know what’s going to happen.

    “The local government elections next year, the good mayors and good councils are going to miss out on their jobs because the central government, the National government, has washed their hands of their responsibility and put everything unfairly onto these guys.”

    He said councils would now be forced to continue to increase rates.

    “They were gonna have to do that when the water review reform was thrown out, and now if they’re not gonna touch the rating system and give councils more tools other than increasing rates, it’s only going to lead to one thing, more money going from ratepayers to councils.”

    McAnulty said the coalition was taking local government for granted.

    According to the news on Radio New Zealand

    Related News

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Back to top button