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Is bigger better? Local government is changing

Is bigger better? Local government is changing

The question of how local government approaches reorganisation was discussed by an expert panel chaired by Guyon Espiner at the Local Government New Zealand conference in Hamilton.

The panel, which included CEO of Auckland Chamber of Commerce, Michael Barnett, discussed the changing shape of local government and how the creation of Auckland Council has lead to greater efficiencies and savings.

Ganesh Nana, Chief Economist at BERL said “Economies of scale make sense, where there is synergy and, importantly, where communities are comfortable with the change being proposed.”

The panel also recognised issues caused by changing demographics where some areas will have declining populations, whilst other grow.

LGNZ President, Lawrence Yule, said “This makes it more of a challenge for smaller councils. The inevitability of change means that councils will be finding innovative approaches to deliver their services.”

“The answer to “is Bigger Better?” will be very different depending on where you are and what challenges you are facing as a council – but one thing is certain – there will be changes ahead for local government in New Zealand.”

ENDS

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