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Meaty Issues in Local Government Regulation Inquiry

Media Release - Local Government Forum
31 August 2012

Meaty Issues in Local Government Regulation Inquiry

The Local Government Forum has today made a submission to the Productivity Commission’s Issues Paper on Local Government Regulatory Performance.

Local government is responsible for a vast array of regulation at regional and district levels,” said Forum Chair Michael Barnett, “The efficacy of local government regulation is vitally important to local communities and the country as a whole”.

“The Productivity Commission’s Inquiry is one of eight work streams of the Government’s Better Local Government reforms and is arguably one of the most important”.

The Forum’s submission, which is available from http://www.localgovtforum.org.nz/ makes the following key recommendations:

§ The allocation of regulatory functions between central and local government should be decided on a case-by-case basis following an analysis that takes account of the factors identified in the Issues Paper.

§ Fundamental concerns with current regulation, particularly major regimes such as the Resource Management Act (and related matters), need to be addressed if central and local government are to improve significantly the regulatory performance of local government.

§ An important issue is to improve the quality of new regulation. One step would be to apply the principles of the Regulatory Standards Bill to local government regulation.

§ External monitoring and comparison of the regulatory performance of local authorities in undertaking their main regulatory functions, together with periodic independent reviews of regulatory regimes on a first principles basis, are likely to generate the largest net improvement in the regulatory performance of local government.

“The Issues Paper and this submission have been prepared at the initial stage of the Commission's inquiry. The Forum looks forward to contributing constructively at later stages of the inquiry,” Mr Barnett concluded.
Click here to access the submission


The Local Government Forum comprises organisations that have a vital interest in the activities of local government. Its members include Business New Zealand, the Electricity Networks Association, Federated Farmers of New Zealand, New Zealand Business Roundtable, New Zealand Chambers of Commerce, and New Zealand Retailers’ Association. The Forum was established in 1994 to promote greater efficiency in local government and to contribute to debate on policy issues affecting it.

Forum members are each significant representatives of ratepayers in their own right but the Forum’s perspective is to advance community welfare through the advocacy of sound public policy. We believe that local government can best serve the interests of the community and ratepayers by focusing on the efficient provision of public goods at a local level.

Click here for more information on the Local Gobvernment Forum

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