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

 

For The Birds: Gordon Campbell On The Budget

Budgies, so their Wikipedia page says, are popular pets around the world due to their small size, low cost, and ability to mimic human speech. Which is a reasonably good description of Finance Minister Bill English eighth Budget. . More>>

Max Rashbrooke On The 2016 Budget

The best label for this year’s announcement by Bill English might be the ‘Bare Minimum Budget’. It does the bare minimum to defuse potential political damage in a range of areas – homelessness and health are prime among them – but almost nothing to address the country’s most deep-rooted, systemic social problems. Indeed the Budget hints that these problems may get worse. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Bank Scandals (And Air Crashes)

Last month, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) filed proceedings against Westpac over activities that have some distinct echoes of the Libor scandal. More>>

Budget: Health Funding Must Keep Up With Need

NZNO: “The nursing team has been doing more with less for years. It’s getting to the point that we’re really worried about our colleagues, our patients, our jobs and the level of health care available for people in our country." More>>

ALSO:

Emissions Inventory: Time For The Government To Do The Right Thing

It’s time for the National Government to step up and do the right thing to reduce climate pollution as data shows New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions are higher than ever, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

Budget 2016: More Partnership Schools To Open

Seven new schools will join the eight Partnership Schools already open, along with further new schools opening in 2017. “The growth of this policy is a reflection of the high level of interest from educators and community leaders,” Mr Seymour says. More>>

ALSO:

No Correspondence With English: Did Brownlee Make Up Sale Of Navy Ships ‘On The Hoof?’

Having revealed that several Royal New Zealand Navy vessels have not left port in years, New Zealand First is now asking the Minister of Defence to prove he did not come up with the idea of selling HMNZS Taupo and Pukaki until the media asked him. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news