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

 

Parliament Today:

The Kids: OECD Report Shows Huge Impact Of Poverty On Education

A new report from the OECD has again highlighted the negative effects of poverty, showing that disadvantaged children in New Zealand are more than six times more likely to underachieve in maths than children from wealthier homes. More>>

ALSO:

Pacific: NZ Pledges $500,000 To Help Address Zika

“With the Zika virus now confirmed in a number of Pacific countries, New Zealand is committed to helping limit the impact and spread of the virus in the region,” says Mr McCully. “New Zealand will provide $250,000 as a contribution to the WHO to implement the Pacific Zika Action Plan, and a further $250,000 to enable countries in the region to respond rapidly if required." More>>

ALSO:

Labour: Police Commissioner 'Doesn’t Get Force Needs'

The Police Commissioner has let down the public and his own force by insisting the police have what they need despite it taking a year to solve a burglary and overwhelming number of officers saying they are under-resourced, says Labour’s Police spokesman Stuart Nash. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The US Pressure To Expand Our Role In Iraq

Foreign news services are being more forthcoming about what the “next 12 months” will entail – essentially, the defence ministers will be under US pressure to increase their “training” role preparatory to an assault on the city of Mosul in northern Iraq. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Restarts: Prime Minister’s Statement

Our policy agenda and legislative programme will reflect the Government’s four priorities: • to responsibly manage the Government’s finances • to build a more competitive and productive economy • to deliver better public services to New Zealanders, an • to support the rebuilding of Christchurch. More>>

ALSO:

NZEI Survey Report: Special Needs Students Missing Out

The survey revealed that around 16 percent of students were on schools’ special needs registers, but nearly 90 percent of schools’ special needs coordinators did not believe there was adequate support for students and their learning... More>>

ALSO:

Interim Report: Waitangi Tribunal On Ture Whenua Legislation

Labour on Proposed changes to Maori land rules: “To have Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson dismiss findings as ‘bizarre’ is totally disingenuous and disrespectful. What’s bizarre is Maori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell stubbornly pushing through this Bill before the Waitangi Tribunal has even completed its report..." More>>

ALSO:

Spy Update: Appointment Of GCSB Acting Director

GCSB Chief Legal Advisor Lisa Fong will become the Acting Director of the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) from 15 February 2016, Minister Responsible for the GCSB Christopher Finlayson announced today. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news