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Local government focus on powering local economies

Local government focus on powering local economies, building vibrant communities

On Sunday, more than 550 delegates representing central government, stakeholders, industry and the councils around New Zealand will gather at the Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) 2014 Conference in Nelson to discuss and debate the theme of Powering Local Economies, Building Vibrant Communities.

The annual event is highly anticipated by the sector as informative and engaging for learning and networking. The conference is attended by mayors, chairs, chief executives, councillors and senior management from New Zealand's councils are expected to attend alongside key stakeholders from the private sector, government and non-government agencies.

Recent media coverage has highlighted the changes in demographics that provincial areas of New Zealand face. These issues will be addressed at the 2014 LGNZ Conference as a wide range of high profile speakers discuss the theme of how to power local economies and build vibrant communities.

Looking ahead to important policy matters with the 2014 general elections just months away, LGNZ President Lawrence Yule will launch the LGNZ 2014 Manifesto highlighting our key policy priorities for the incoming government. Prime Minister John Key and the Leader of the Opposition David Cunliffe will speak on key policy impacting local economies and communities.

Local Government Funding Agency Chair Craig Stobo, Auckland Council Chief Financial Officer Andrew McKenzie and Te Rununga o Ngai Tahu Chief Executive Officer Arihia Bennett will speak on lifting governance and financial performance.

NZX-listed Xero’s Chief Executive Rod Drury will talk on why businesses locate in the regions they choose to, BERL Chief Economist Ganesh Nana will talk about future economic thinking with Lincoln University Professor of Trade and Environmental Economics Caroline Saunders, and Head of New Zealand ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 Therese Walsh will talk about the needs, opportunities and key success factors for towns hosting major events.

Thames-Coromandel District Council Chief Executive David Hammond, Oosh Managing Director Suzie Johnson and Urbanismplus Director Kobus Mentz will speak about making localism work through innovation.

A series of master classes will cater to the specialised interests of the sector. The master class sessions are on new generation funding models for infrastructure, the economic impact of cycleways, smart digital investment, improving governance through strengthening capacity and capability, and engaging with youth.

“The LGNZ conference is a time for the sector to come together and tackle important issues while sharing best practice, future thinking and strategies to further lift leadership and performance of the sector, and further lift the value we deliver to communities for ratepayers,” Mr Yule says.

“I know local government elected members, staff and stakeholders get huge value from the event every year and this year is a particularly strong line up.”

*Ends*

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