The government set up a panel to review Local Government. This review was announced after the government had already started to garrot local government through its 3 Waters review and its rewriting of the Resource Management Act. It was a classic shut-the-gate-after-the-horse-has-bolted exercise.
The government announced the review and selected the panel. Some of the panel members were good.
In her press release the Minister of Local government announced:
The local government sector has taken the next step in its work on the future shape it wants for regional, district and city councils, with the release of the second report by an independent panel, says Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta.
The Future for Local Government Review is very much the construct of local authorities themselves.
The relationship between central and local government is broken, this review goes part way to pointing some ways forward, it is important to ensure we are involved. The Tuesday Club will be having sessions on this report and making submissions in February next year.
Key Recommendations include
- Electoral Commission taking back responsibility for local and regional elections
- Adopt STV across the country
- Lower Voting age to 16
- Move to 4 year electoral term
The questions and recommendations come under five categories where shifts are required:
- Strengthened local democracy – including using deliberative democracy processes
- Authentic relationships with hapū, iwi and Māori
- A focus on wellbeing
- Genuine partnership between central and local government
- More equitable funding