Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Local Government funding: Not broken but will need help

The New Zealand Productivity Commission today released its draft report on local government funding and financing arrangements. It is the most substantial look at these issues since the 2007 Shand report.

In releasing the draft report, Commission Chair, Murray Sherwin said “The current framework measures up well against the principles of a good funding and financing system for local government. It is clearly separated from the central government’s tax base which is an important feature. It is relatively simple and economically efficient. It also provides a high degree of flexibility for councils to shape how they raise their revenue.

“Councils can make better use of the tools they already have access to, and there is room to improve organization performance, transparency and decision making that will help to relieve cost pressures.”

Murray Sherwin noted that “While this inquiry was initiated in response to a perception that rates have become less affordable over time, the Commission found no clear evidence of that. Rates, overall, have broadly kept pace with population and income growth over the past 3 decades, but have not become relatively more burdensome.

“However, even with a robust funding base, there are important areas where local governments will need assistance in the future.”

Rising sea levels and more intensive rain events threaten local government infrastructure, especially roads and waste/storm water infrastructure. These risks are very large, but not evenly distributed across the nation. There is a case for establishing mechanisms that assist in sharing the cost of research and policy analysis, and spreading the financial risk that would otherwise be unmanageable for the most affected communities.



Other stress points include coping with the rapid growth in tourist numbers, especially in smaller communities; and providing infrastructure to accommodate, in some cases, rapid population growth and, in other cases, small, static and ageing populations. Local government is also struggling to cope with new standards and requirements passed from central government. For instance, meeting health and environmental standards in the three waters sector is a major challenge for many councils, and the Commission makes the case for significant reform of the sector.

This draft report makes 30 recommendations to deal with the evident stresses and to better align council and ratepayer interests. These aim to support high-performing local government, which is critical to community wellbeing.

This is a draft report and the Commission is keen to capture reactions to its analysis and proposals. Submissions can be made until 29 August. The final report will be released on 30 November.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

SCOOP COVERAGE: CHRISTCHURCH MOSQUES TERROR ATTACK


Emission Statement: 'Consensus Reached' On Agriculture

Today the Government launched a consultation document, informed by the work of the Interim Climate Change Committee (ICCC), on how to bring agriculture into the emissions trading scheme, a key part of the Government’s plan to tackle climate change and reduce New Zealand’s emissions.

Agricultural emissions make up nearly half of New Zealand’s total emissions profile and are the largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in New Zealand. More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On What’s Wrong With Wellington

For many Wellingtonians, it hasn’t been the normal hardships – the workings of central government and the lousy weather – that have recently pushed their tolerance into the red zone. It has been the inability of local government to maintain even the basics. More>>

ALSO:

$1m Compensation Paid: First Gun Ban Event In Christchurch

The Police Minister says the first ever firearms collection event in Christchurch over the weekend was a huge success. But Stuart Nash had concerns about whether the participation reflected the number of weapons in the region. More>>

ALSO:

The Kids: Youth Parliament 2019 Event Kicks Off

120 Youth MPs and 20 Youth Press Gallery members have gathered in Wellington to attend the two-day Youth Parliament event ... More>>

Friends Like These: Foreign Minister To Visit USA

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters will travel to Washington D.C. today for talks with senior members of the US Administration, and to attend the Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Aussie Banks’ Latest Fee Hike Excuse

When the Reserve Bank sought feedback on its plans to require the country’s major banks to raise their capital reserves then you might have expected the banks to whine and complain. And so they have. More>>

ALSO:

Sitting On Defence: Terms Of Reference For Defence Estate Review

“The 81,000 hectare Defence estate is at a crossroads; much of it is run down, and outdated,” says Ron Mark. “It needs to be improved in order to gain, train and retain our service people, now and into the future." More>>

ALSO:

Meng Foon: Retiring Gisborne Mayor To Be Race Relations Commissioner

Andrew Little: “He has an outstanding record as a relationship builder and walks comfortably in the pākehā world, the Māori world, the Chinese community and other communities making up New Zealand." More>>

ALSO:

NCEA: Students Granted Qualifications After Fees Scrapped

Almost 150,000 current and former students with unpaid NCEA fees have today been formally awarded their NCEA credits or qualifications. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels