Draft review must be the catalyst for councils to think big

28 October 2022

LGNZ is calling on councils to use the recently released Future for Local Government draft report as licence to ‘think big’.

“This review is a once in a generation chance to move past the two-dimensional way we think about councils,” says LGNZ President Stuart Crosby. 

"Low voter turnout at this month’s election reinforces what's at stake – we must make real change if we want to strengthen local democracy and make sure our communities are prepared for the future. We can’t afford to tinker around the edges.”

While many of the recommendations put forward by LGNZ have been included in the draft report, it leaves plenty of room for councils to further help design a new system that is fit to serve our communities over the next 30 years, says LGNZ CE Susan Freeman-Greene

"Aotearoa New Zealand is a far different place than it was when the architecture of local government was last up for discussion in 1989.

“We’re now a much more diverse country, with nuanced local issues, identities and aspirations. At the same time, we are all grappling with global phenomena like climate change, increasing inequalities and heightened levels of distrust in public decision-making.

“Councils must be equipped to manage both sides of this coin. The draft report is an opportunity to think about how we can create a modern style of participatory local democracy, tailored to the needs of the different places we serve, and resilient enough to face up to the challenges of tomorrow,” says Susan Freeman-Greene.

“Submissions to the panel close February 28th. During that time, we will be working closely with our members to gain their insights and feedback on the draft report. Aside from our own, LGNZ will be encouraging all councils to make individual submissions” says Stuart Crosby.

A copy of the draft report is available