LGNZ welcomes task force recommendations for LGNZ & members
LGNZ welcomes task force recommendations for LGNZ and its members to work together to improve infrastructure management
18 APRIL 2013
Local Government New Zealand has welcomed the report of the Local Government Infrastructure Efficiency Expert Advisory Group issued yesterday.
Although Water New Zealand has painted the report as suggesting that the control of water infrastructure should be removed from the oversight of elected representatives, this is incorrect and would be resisted with force by LGNZ’s members.
“At no point does the report make such a recommendation. These assets are owned by local communities for local communities,” said LGNZ President, Lawrence Yule.
“The Advisory Group’s report instead argues that the local government sector should examine the various management options for water infrastructure to ensure that the best value is being delivered for ratepayers. LGNZ agrees,” said Mr Yule.
LGNZ is currently finalising the details of a major sector project that will form the foundation of a considered assessment of the best practice operational management of water assets in various communities. This project was welcomed last week by the Treasury’s National Infrastructure Unit (NIU) in its April Infrastructure Update where it stated that the NIU was fully supportive of a project of this type. The NIU went on to comment:
“Most exciting from our perspective is that local government has been pro-active in identifying this opportunity and are working to make it real. In the end it can provide real benefits to councils and their communities.
“We agree with the Treasury’s assessment” said Mr Yule.
The Advisory Group has made a number of recommendations that LGNZ should take leadership in assisting its members to make improvements that add value. The idea that LGNZ should develop a formal Centre of Excellence for Local Government Infrastructure is constructive and would be a useful initiative to promote best practice management of community assets.
LGNZ supports initiatives that deliver value to ratepayers. Although bodies like Water New Zealand may wish to take control of community assets we will work with our members to ensure that those assets remain in local control but are operated and managed according to world best practice, Mr Yule said.