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QLDC on national working group on local body funding

QLDC represented on national working group on local body funding

Queenstown Lakes District Council Chief Executive Adam Feeley has been appointed to a working group considering alternatives ways to fund local government.

Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) today announced the appointment of a cross-sector working group to its LGNZ Local Government Funding Review, which seeks to determine a sustainable future model for funding of local infrastructure and services.

LGNZ announced the review in April because current funding sources – mainly rates and direct charges – were unlikely to be a sustainable option in the face of rapid demographic and economic changes.

The review also recognises that New Zealand councils have a high reliance on property taxes, which is unusual by international standards.

Mr Feeley said “Queenstown Lakes has some unique features to other local authorities – very high, and sustained, population growth; relatively low median income levels; relatively high debt to fund inter-generational infrastructure needs; and intense pressure on infrastructure and other services from domestic and international visitors. In contrast, some councils have no debt; declining populations; and limited scope for growth. With marked differences between local authorities across New Zealand, we need to consider whether “one size fits all” can continue to be the best funding solution.”

The working group is chaired by Auckland Councillor Penny Webster, also a member of LGNZ’s National Council. Other members of the working group are:
• Auckland Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive and Local Government Forum Chair Michael Barnett;
• Auckland Council Chief of Staff, Office of the Mayor, Phil Wilson;
• Auckland Council Treasurer and Local Government Funding Agency Chief Executive designate, Mark Butcher;
• Cameron Partners Partner Rob Cameron;
• Christchurch City Council Councillor and Chair of Finance Committee, Raf Manji;
• Federated Farmers Manager General Policy, Nick Clark;
• New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development Chief Executive, Stephen Selwood;
• New Zealand Initiative Executive Director, Dr. Oliver Hartwich;
• Otago Regional Council Chief Executive, Peter Bodeker;
• Victoria University Professor of Public Policy Prof. Claudia Scott ; and
• Waitomo District Council Chief Executive, Chris Ryan.

The group held its first meeting yesterday. Its initial consultation report is expected in November.

ENDS

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