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Public says yes to govt-council economic development deals

Nearly half of adult New Zealanders support the idea of the Government investing in special economic development deals with local authorities.

64% of Wellingtonians back economic development deals

49% say they support the idea and just 13% oppose, in a survey conducted by Horizon Research.

Eeconomic development zones:

The survey also finds 58% support zones with extra powers to make development easier and to help fund it.

15% oppose

19% are neutral, 14% would need to know more, 5% don’t know.

Horizon conducted the poll in the public interest after Newsroom reported Wellington City Council was approaching government officals last year with the ideas.

Newsroom reported Horizon's results and a follow up to the city-government discussions on March 7, 2018. Despite the research revealing public support, Newsroom reports the Government is "lukewarm" on the idea.

What respondents were told:

In Horizon's survey, respondents were told:

“Wellington City Council has proposed central government look at providing it with a “City Deal”. This could give it special powers to acquire land for development. The Government would also return a share of Goods and Services and income taxes to the city to help fund developments, including housing, transport and development.

In return, Government might also get a return on any profitable investments.

City Deals are widespread in the United Kingdom.

It is argued this will allow development to occur which would otherwise impose costs on ratepayers.

The Wellington City approach to government is reportedly in its early stages.

Auckland’s Mayor has also suggested the Government should share GST revenue from his region to fund infrastructure development there.”

They were then asked about ideas for government to make special investments in some cities (city deals) and give some councils extra powers in economic development zones.

Special city development deals:

In principle, do you support or oppose the idea of central government investing in special economic development deals with some local authorities?

49% supported the idea of central government investing in special economic development deals with some local authorities (10% strongly support).

13% opposed (4% strongly)

16% said they would need to know more and

6% said they really didn’t know.

In Wellington City, 64% of respondents supported city deals (16% strongly), 10% opposed (2% strongly).
In Auckland 50.8% supported city development deals, 8% opposed.

Extra development powers for some councils:

Respondents were asked
In principle, would you support or oppose central government allowing councils to have special economic zones, in which the Government would grant councils extra powers to make development easier (including to acquire land and simplify consents) and help fund development?

58% support zones with extra powers to make development easier and to help fund it.

15% oppose

19% are neutral, 14% would need to know more, 5% don’t know.

In Wellington support for extra powers was 60%, compared with 48% for New Zealand overall.

In Auckland support for extra powers was 49%, about the same as New Zealand overall, but within that strong support was 14% compared with 9% nationwide.

The survey was of 1,043 adults representing the 18+ population at the most recent census. Results are weighted by age, gender, personal income, party vote 2017, ethnicity and region. At a 95% confidence level the maximum margin of error on the overall sample is +/- 3%. The survey was conducted using Horizon’s national online research panel between October 24 and November 1, 2017.

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