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Sound, prudent management in local government

Media Release:

Sound, prudent management in local government

The New Zealand Society of Local Government Managers (SOLGM) welcomes the Auditor-General’s report Matters arising from the 2012-22 local authority long-term plans.

“The independent audit of what local authorities are planning in and for their communities over the next ten years demonstrates that New Zealand’s local governments, supported by professional, competent managers and staff are generally doing well,” says SOLGM President Ross McLeod.

This is counter to much of criticism earlier in the year by some commentators that local governments in New Zealand were financially out of control.

The SOLGM Executive discussed the report with the Auditor-General Mrs Lyn Provost late last week. The report reveals that “overall local authorities are planning to live within their means, and they are not raising rates to unreasonable levels”.

And Mrs Provost said that while some councils are planning to raise more debt “net income always stays positive and local authorities stay well within the golden rule of fiscal policy that governments should only borrow to invest”.

“I am delighted that the Auditor-General has reported sound, prudent management within the sector” said Mr McLeod.

“Additionally, there are useful insights in the report for how local government managers can further develop and improve their practice and SOLGM will be picking up on these matters in the New Year.

“After what has been a difficult year for the sector, punctuated by significantly negative commentary and rhetoric, the independent Auditor-General’s report is a welcome dose of factual analysis”, said Mr McLeod.


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