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Funding and infrastructure funding models explored

23 July 2014

For immediate release

Local government funding and infrastructure funding models explored at LGNZ Conference

Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) held an in-depth master class session on infrastructure funding as part of its conference at Nelson with more than 100 council managers, elected members and local government stakeholders attending.

The session included discussion around the LGNZ Local Government Funding Review and infrastructure funding.

Presenters stated funding needs to be re-looked at because demographics of communities are changing, assets are ageing and technology is opening up a new range of possibilities for service delivery and asset management.

The key question posed for New Zealand communities is how do we replace infrastructure, whether roads, water or sporting infrastructure, when the communities remain largely the same and the initial infrastructure was government subsidised.

Speakers included PwC Partner Bruce Wattie, Local Government Funding Agency Chairman Craig Stobo, SportNZ Facilities Manager Richard Lindsay and Director of management consultancy firm that specialises in public sector McGredy Winder & Co, Peter Winder.

LGNZ President Lawrence Yule says the master class reinforced the strong need for the LGNZ Local Government Funding Review, launched in April, to identify new funding options that can complement councils’ current funding tools.

“The required changes in funding requirements will place severe pressure on current funding models and complementary alternatives should be considered. Understanding the demand and funding options, whether it be metering and charging for water or public private partnerships, will require considerable engagement with our communities,” Mr Yule says.

Affordability can also be managed through modular sporting facilities and Sport and Recreation New Zealand are working in a number of areas to develop regional plans for aquatic and indoor facilities.

The key theme of the session was sharing of knowledge and the need to involve experts for advice. LGNZ’s Centre of Excellence, EquiP, was recently launched to support councils in this work. It works directly with council staff, mayors and elected members to provide customised guidance and tools to drive efficiency and effect throughout local government to support governance and management excellence.

The 2014 LGNZ Conference took place 20-22 July at Nelson, with more than 550 local government delegates attending to take part in master class sessions, hear presentations from high profile speakers about significant issues and opportunities facing the sector. The theme of the conference was Powering Local Economies, Building Vibrant Communities.

*Ends*


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