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Time To Put The Future Into The Future For Local Government Review

Local government reform advocate and Kāpiti Coast District Councillor Gwynn Compton has written to the Minister of Local Government Hon Nanaia Mahuta to call on her to appoint a young elected member representative on to the Review into the Future for Local Government’s Review Panel in order to truly put the future into the future of local government review.

“While the Review Panel has a wide range of experiences already on it, one obvious area where they’re missing any representation from is young elected members. Given this review is about proposing a future system of local government, not having any representation from the very people who will inherit that future is a big gap in perspective and expertise that needs to be filled,” says Mr Compton.

In his letter to Minister Mahuta, Gwynn Compton cites the growing numbers of young elected members (defined as those aged under 40) as evidence of increasing youth interest in local government. The number of young elected members has increased from only six percent of councillors and local/community board members in 2016, to 14 percent in the 2019 local authority elections.

“Many of the young elected representatives throughout Aotearoa New Zealand already have extensive experience across the local government, community, private, and central government sectors, where they’re valued for bringing fresh ideas and a forward-thinking approach to the table,” says Mr Compton.

“While the local government Review Panel will undoubtedly engage with young elected members in researching their findings and developing their recommendations over the next 18 months, there’s ultimately no substitute for having a young elected member on the Review Panel itself to represent the future of the sector. From there, they’ll be able to directly shape the Review Panel’s findings and recommendations to help ensure the future really is put into the future for local government review.”

Gwynn Compton first called for an overhaul of the local government sector through a Royal Commission in November 2020. The opinions conveyed here are his personal views and not necessarily those of the Kāpiti Coast District Council.

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