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2022 Media Releases

 

 

2022 Media Releases

Nominations for this year’s local body elections close tomorrow and there’s been a concerningly low number in some parts of the country. We know Councils will have questions about what happens if there aren’t enough candidates to fill their vacant seats, so we’ve written a Q&A so you know what to expect if you find your council in this situation. Your Council’s Electoral Officer will be able to answer any questions you have too.  

This has led Local Government New Zealand’s CouncilMARK programme to award the Council an A grade in its latest independent assessment report published today, improving on its previous score of BBB.

 Last election saw the lowest number of nominations in relation to available seats since LGNZ began collecting data. At this rate, we risk seeing an even lower number this year.  “Competition for seats is a sign of a healthy democracy.

Michael McCartney, Regional Chief Executive Officers Group Convenor for Te Uru Kahika – Regional and Unitary Councils Aotearoa said the regional sector is hard at work on the complex challenge of responding to climate change impacts.

Despite the challenges associated with the region’s rapid population growth and with the added pressure of operating in a Covid-19 environment, the report found that the Council has made significant inroads over the last four years.

Today the Government released its National Adaptation Plan (NAP), which aims to address the harmful impacts of climate change.  

 

“Councils and communities at risk from the impacts of climate change need more clarity on their options to help residents adapt,” Stuart Crosby said.

Local Government New Zealand’s (LGNZ) member councils have today passed a remit, proposed by Kaipara District Council, that calls on the Government to limit the retail availability of vapes to specialist stores and include proximity restrictions in this year’s round of amendments.

Remit #1 Central government funding for public transport 

 This remit was proposed by Porirua City Council and supported by the Metro Sector.

“It’s abundantly clear that when it comes to the management and delivery of the country’s drinking, waste and storm water, one size does not fit all,” says President Stuart Crosby.  “The local government sector has been advocating for water reforms for decades.

Porirua City Council has won the top honour at the Local Government NZ (LGNZ) EXCELLENCE Awards 2022 for its efforts in restoring the health of hundreds of kilometres of streams and its hallowed harbour.

“Our indigenous biodiversity is a taonga, and there is no doubt that a national approach is required to protect it.

“The LGNZ Conference will be the first time the entire sector will get a chance to get together after the local body elections,” says LGNZ President Stuart Crosby.

LGNZ President Stuart Crosby says this year’s conference Te Wā Heke Mai: the Future, will connect over 600 of the sector’s leaders and representatives, amid once in a generation reform facing the sector.

With 32 councils across the country implementing Māori wards this year, more than 50 new Māori ward councillors will be joining the ranks of elected members. “Te Āhuru Mōwai – A Safe Haven is a tuakana-teina support programme.

“The purpose of the survey was to better understand the experiences that elected officials face at work and touched on topics such as diversity, inclusion, bullying and harassment,” says LGNZ President Stuart Crosby.

Mitchell Boyce, an 18-year-old school leaver from Tararua College, gained an apprenticeship at Murray Judd Joinery in Woodville, with the support of MTFJ and MSD’s Community Recovery Programme. The programme also provided him with tools and helped him gain his restricted driver licence.

CouncilMARK™ is an independent assessment programme that assesses how councils are performing and is designed to support individual councils to improve the service and value they provide.

“Slow down on the reforms and get out of your silos,” is the clear message to the Government from the rural and provincial councils of New Zealand.

LGNZ’s advocacy and influence has pushed the Government to change the law that requires candidates to publish their residential address on electoral campaign advertisements.    

The changes will be implemented in time for this year’s local body elections.

The Water Services Entities Bill introduced to the House today marks an important milestone in the Three Waters Reform process.   

 

“Everyone agrees the way we deliver water services needs to change,” says LGNZ President Stuart Crosby.   

 

“LGNZ will be making a detailed submission, championing local voice.

The Rural Supplies Working Group recommendations have been released by the Department of Internal Affairs today, confirming that private supplies won’t transfer to new entities.    

 “This is a real win for our rural communities.

“Cheaper public transport fares must be seen as much more than a way to help ease the burden of the rising cost of living on households.   

 

“Climate change is an issue that’s confronting many councils around the country.

“For so long the “postcode lottery” has plagued our communities living in remote parts of the country.  

“The new locality networks will play a key role in ensuring that the quality of care you receive won’t be determined by where you live.

“The Government will have missed a trick if it doesn’t continue its public transport subsidy,” says LGNZ President Stuart Crosby.  

 

“Broad behaviour change doesn’t happen in three months but councils around the country have been reporting an increase in people using public transport since half-price fares were introduced.

“This is the bold ambition, and we know it will take more than one election cycle to make lasting changes,” says Local Government New Zealand’s Chief Executive Susan Freeman-Greene.  

Of the current mayors, councillors and other elected members: 40. 5% are women. 13.

Te Uru Kahika – Regional and Unitary Councils Aotearoa recognises the new online tool released by the NZ SeaRise: Te Tai Pari O Aotearoa programme for its contribution to understanding the timeline for relative sea level rise across New Zealand.

LGNZ President Stuart Crosby says the new Infrastructure Strategy is an important step towards addressing the critical issues affecting our communities.   

“Reliable infrastructure is the backbone to creating healthy, thriving communities and a resilient local economy.

LGNZ President Stuart Crosby says the Government’s decisions on the Three Waters Governance Working Group recommendations provide much-needed momentum, as well as certainty for ratepayers.

Te Uru Kahika – Regional and Unitary Councils Aotearoa acknowledges today’s Environment Aotearoa 2022 Report as a key milestone from the Government on the state of our natural environment and its connection with our collective wellbeing.

In its latest CouncilMARK report, released today, Upper Hutt City Council is commended for its careful leadership as it reorients to manage rapid change and growth and to deliver long-term benefits to the community.

In the face of increasingly frequent and extreme weather events, Te Uru Kahika - Regional and Unitary Councils Aotearoa’s Chief Executive Officers Group is urging central government to prioritise sustained Central Government co-investment in flood protection across New Zealand.

LGNZ President Stuart Crosby says the Government’s announcement today that councils can now apply for the Three Waters reform better off support package is good news for communities.

LGNZ welcomes the Three Waters Representation, Governance and Accountability Working Group recommendations, especially the proposal for council shareholding to further strengthen community ownership, added protections against privatisation, a strengthened focus on the health and wellbeing of our water, and much stronger mechanisms for local voice.

Capturing tamariki’s imaginations, the Ngā Pōti ā-Taiohi - Youth Voting 2022 programme for years 7-10 helps our young people see how they can  help shape their communities by voting for people who represent their ideas or beliefs.

Local Government New Zealand highly commends Central Hawke’s Bay District Council’s leadership and commitment to delivering for their community, which is highlighted in its newly released CouncilMARK report.

Local Government New Zealand’s independent CouncilMARK programme is giving Mackenzie District Council’s performance a tick of approval in its second assessment.

The capital has been announced as one of 15 winners in the Bloomberg Philanthropies’ 2021-2022 Global Mayors Challenge.

Kiwis are known for our manakitanga – how we care about our communities, how we build and nurture relationships, and how we engage with one another. In 2019 following a two-year pilot, Immigration New Zealand established the Welcoming Communities – Te Waharoa ki ngā Hapori  programme.

Christchurch City Council has delighted the city’s bookworms with a decision this month to remove charges on overdue library items. Coming into play on March 1, the decision not only removes charges going forward but also wipes all historical charges.

Te Uru Kahika, the Regional and Unitary Councils of Aotearoa New Zealand, have appointed Dr Chris Daughney as the sector’s inaugural Chief Science Advisor.