Te Anamata mō te Arotake Kāwanatanga ā-Rohe
Future for local government

In April 2021, the government announced an independent review of local government.

This review looked at how New Zealand’s system of local democracy and governance needed to evolve over the next 30 years to better serve our communities. The Future for Local Government Panel released its final report in June 2023.

Aotearoa has transformed a lot in the past three decades with even more change on the horizon as we deal with challenges like shifting demographics, urbanisation and climate change. But the tools for funding everything our communities need have stayed the same. We need to reimagine our public service by putting local communities at the heart of planning and delivery. That means reconsidering the role councils play in the wellbeing of our communities.

Our work to progress the review will be informed by the position of the new government. We’ll continue to advocate strongly for localism — harnessing the power, knowledge, skills and views of local people to strengthen our communities.

Our work to date

The timeline below summarises activity to date.

July 2023

LGNZ’s Annual General Meeting agreed we should adopt a consensus position or positions on the Future for Local Government report. Since then, through two consensus-building events and online engagement, we’ve been working to produce a collective position that local government can agree at a Special General Meeting in December. This Future by Local Government work aims to produce a tangible position to put in front of the incoming government and is guided by the FFLG Advisory Group. It sits under our broader Choose Localism campaign.

July 2023

We launched our Choose Localism campaign, which is all about creating a brighter future for our communities by galvanising local government and harnessing the power of local decision making. New Zealand is one of the most centralised countries in the developed world, with decision-making power highly concentrated at a central government level. Localism is all about strengthening local self-government, putting people back in charge of politics and reinvigorating local democracy.

Find out more about our campaign

June 2023

The FFLG panel’s final report was released. We analysed the report to see whether our advocacy was reflected in their recommendations.

Read the analysis

February 2023

We made our final submission to the Panel, which sets out a series of clear, tangible recommendations and reflect the feedback we’ve heard from councils.

Read the submission: Tomorrow’s Local Government

November – December 2022

We ran a series of online workshops covering topics such as revitalising local democracy and how local government should be structured.

October 2022

The independent panel produced its draft report for public consultation.

Read LGNZ’s summary of the report

Read the LGNZ checklist: How much of Vision for the Future appears in the draft report?

June 2022

We ran a Future for Local Government speaker series covering strengthening local democracy, wellbeing, authentic relationships with hapū, iwi and Māori and genuine partnership with central government.

May 2022

We published a paper for the Future for Local Government Panel, which outlined our vision for the future and the barriers that so far have stopped councils from achieving this vision. The paper provides a series of recommendations about how these challenges might be addressed to make local government’s vision a reality.

Read the Vision for the Future paper

We also ran a series of workshops covering topics including local government’s roles and functions, Treaty partnerships, responsive local leadership, fiscal sustainability, and the system of local governance.