Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Communities can benefit from ‘localism’

23 July 2014

For immediate release

Local government sector discusses how communities can benefit from ‘localism’

Three highly regarded speakers teamed up to present their views of localism to the annual Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) conference, held in Nelson.

The word ‘localism’ is becoming a world-wide trend and the idea of strengthening local governance by empowering councils and their communities to address issues of social and economic development is becoming increasingly important.

While ‘localism’ is occurring under various guises in many countries, it all begins with the notion that local people, working with their local governments, are best placed to know and understand the issues affecting their communities.

Kobus Mentz, recognised as one of Australia’s leading urban practitioners and thinkers; Suzie Johnson, a successful entrepreneur from small town Shannon; and Thames-Coromandel District Council Chief Executive David Hammond all profiled localism from a number of perspectives.

Mr Mentz says that how partnerships are formed is important to making things happen in a community. He discussed a number of planning projects where various entities had been involved in attracting capital, for an outcome that would benefit a community, such as the retail environment University Hill in Melbourne that was enabled by zoning and came to fruition through local government working with business, and a creative quarter in Melbourne that saved heritage buildings and became a place in the community for creative industry jobs to locate.

“Having the right conversations with right people in right way is pertinent to an outcome. Councils have a critical role to play in setting the pre-conditions for employment growth and community well-being, which underpins sustainable communities.”

Mr Hammond shared Thames-Coromandel District’s experience in designing governance institutions and decision-making processes to strengthen localism by empowering community boards. Thames-Coromandel District extended the role of its community boards to make their role more integrated, enabling them to make more decisions without going back through the council.

“There is an increasing demand amongst our people for change and they’ve been very vocal about this, wanting quicker speed from services and more flexibility. Populations changing leads us in local government to think about innovation in partnerships and service delivery, and also innovation in the management and governance of local authorities. For me, it is about changing so we can harness potential and innovation in communities to drive growth.”

Suzie Johnson, the business owner behind fashion and giftware store Oosh, owns several commercial/retail buildings in Shannon where she and her family live. She believes innovative investment can stimulate the economies of small towns.

“I’m a creative brain not an academic. I think in small towns, there is big profit. Shannon has 18,000 cars a day driving through it so I thought the main street was asking for something to happen to it. We got amongst the council and had a meeting with town to move it forward and did cosmetic things around town

like putting up hanging baskets and fixing the loos that got the community involved. For example, we had kids planting stuff. It’s about networking and asking the right people for help, in a positive way.”

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*


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Populism And Labour 2017

For many people on the centre-left, populism is a dirty word, and a shorthand for the politics of bigotry. In this country, it has tended to be equated with the angry legions of New Zealand First. Who knew they were not just a reactionary spasm, but the wave of the future?

Certainly, at the end of this week, the next US President will have won office (at least in part) thanks to his proven ability at (a) scapegoating refugees and migrants (b) wooing neo-Nazis and racial supremacists (c) attacking journalists and judges (d) threatening to jail his opponents (e) urging nuclear proliferation and (e) by promising to restrict women’s rights to control their own fertility.

On the face of that campaign record, there wouldn’t seem to be much in common between Donald Trump and say, Spain’s centre-left populist party, Podemos. Yet arguably, the similarities could be instructive for the Labour/Green partnership here. More>>

 
 

Oxfam: 30% Of NZ Owns Less Wealth Than Our Two Richest Men

The research also reveals that the richest one per cent have 20 per cent of the wealth in New Zealand, while 90 per cent of the population owns less than half of the nation’s wealth. The research forms part of a global report released to coincide with this week’s annual meeting of political and business leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. More>>

ALSO:

Hospitals: Resident Doctors Set To Strike Again

Despite discussions between the DHBs and NZRDA over safer hours for resident doctors progressing during the last week, the strike planned for next week appears set to proceed. More>>

ALSO:

Not So Super Fund: More Burning Ethical Questions For Steven Joyce

Greens: Radio New Zealand reported this morning that the New Zealand Superfund has $77 million invested in 47 coal companies that the Norwegian Government’s Pension Fund – the largest sovereign fund in the world – has blacklisted. More>>

Activism: Greenpeace Intercepts World’s Biggest Seismic Oil Ship

Greenpeace crew have made contact with the world’s biggest seismic oil ship after travelling 50 nautical miles on two rigid-hulled inflatables off the coast of Wairarapa... Greenpeace radioed the master of the Amazon Warrior to deliver an open letter of protest signed by over 60,000 New Zealanders. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: Why Tax Cuts In 2017 Would Be A (Proven) Bad Idea

Ever since the world fell prey to the mullahs of the free market in the 1980s, no amount of real world evidence has managed dispel one key tenet of their economic faith. Namely, the idea that if you cut income taxes and taxes on small business, a wave of individual enterprise and entrepreneurial energy will thus be unleashed, profits will rise and – hey bingo! – the tax cuts will soon be paying for themselves ... More>>

Liquor Sponsorship: Researchers Call For Ban On Alcohol Sponsorship Of Sport

“Due to alcohol sponsorship of sport, New Zealanders, including children, were exposed to up to 200 ads per hour they watched televised sport, and people watching football and tennis saw alcohol ads for almost half of each game,” says Associate Professor Signal. More>>

ALSO:

Mt Albert: Ardern For Labour, Genter For Greens

At the close of nominations, Jacinda Ardern was the sole nomination received for the position of Labour’s candidate for the Mt Albert by-election, says Labour General Secretary, Andrew Kirton. More>>

ALSO:

Earlier:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news