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Good move by local government

Media release
25 February 2014


Good move by local government

A local government initiative to foster business friendly councils has been welcomed by BusinessNZ.

Local Government NZ has produced guidelines for councils to help them work better with local businesses.

The guidelines cover issues such as ensuring council plans and regulations are coherent, ensuring staff understand the importance of economic growth to the local community, and the impact on businesses of the costs of council processes.

BusinessNZ Chief Executive Phil O’Reilly says councils gaining better understanding of business needs will be a major step forward, and Local Government NZ is to be congratulated for its work.

“The guidelines are very expansive and include many examples of how councils have aided large infrastructure, sustainability and tertiary education development and have reduced the time of consent processes.

“Hopefully as a result of the guidelines we will also see smaller local businesses feeling the effect of more business friendly councils.

“We would also hope to see a good understanding emerging of the opportunity costs of local government – for example if councils engage too much in business development in their own right, this not only raises costs for ratepayers but also squeezes out private sector businesses that otherwise may have been able to operate profitably in this area.

“Business would like to see a good balance where councils perform their consenting and regulatory work in a way that does not put unnecessary barriers in the way of business development, while refraining from creating new barriers through direct commercial competition with small businesses in their communities.

“Local Government NZ is to be thanked for advancing understanding in this important area,” Mr O’Reilly said.

ENDS

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