Major reforms aimed at better services for ratepayers

Local Government Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga today announced reforms to the local government sector to enable councils to deliver better services for ratepayers.

Current local government structures limit the ability of 78 councils and 66 water authorities to work together to provide services and critical infrastructure.

“The reforms include more flexibility to collaborate and develop shared services; reorganisation processes that can be locally led and driven; and greater use of Council Controlled Organisations, with improved accountability tools to safeguard local democracy,” says Mr Lotu-Iiga.

“The costs of local services are rising faster than council revenues, so councils need new ways to manage finances, improve efficiencies and create value for ratepayers.

“There are also enhanced Local Government Commission powers and processes to enable the Commission to promote and facilitate reorganisations.

“Local government must respond and adapt to an increasing range of challenges if it is to deliver modern, cost effective services that meet the evolving needs and expectations of New Zealanders.

“The Better Local Services package creates new options for councils and communities to improve performance and better manage local services and infrastructure”, says Mr Lotu-Iiga.