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LGNZ welcomes call for more innovative local government funding options
December 2015
LGNZ President Lawrence Yule

Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) welcomes The New Zealand Initiative's latest report The Local Formula: Myths, Facts and Challenges released today which encourages councils to actively consider innovative approaches to service delivery, funding and financing and challenges Government to support councils by providing incentives through legislative reform.

LGNZ President Lawrence Yule says local government is facing unprecedented economic and demographic change and increasing community and government expectations. Providing an environment that supports local government's ability to partner with others to efficiently achieve shared goals, and the incentives for all parties to encourage local economic growth are vital parts of the conversation.

"The Initiative's latest report is about taking a local approach to economic growth using innovative methods. It outlines the way forward for regions to address location-specific policies and regulations and encourages the use of the right tools and incentives to meet environmental and economic goals and minimise barriers to growth," says Mr Yule.

"It's important local government should be open to innovation in service delivery, funding and financing, and we should continue to operate to the highest standards of fiscal discipline," says Mr Yule.

The New Zealand Initiative's report reinforces the four guiding principles of LGNZ's Local Government Funding Review 10-point plan:

  • an effective partnership between local and central government around shared goals and strategies, pragmatic testing of new ideas, and strong incentives for both arms of government to perform;
  • recognition of the value of the private sector and community by recalibrating relationships with those sectors to incentivise partnerships and the achievement of shared goals;
  • a local government which is open to innovation in service delivery, funding and financing; (within a environment of strong fiscal discipline); and
  • a diverse set of funding tools for New Zealand communities to respond to the different challenges they face, with property rates as a cornerstone supplemented by revenue sources that equip local communities to meet current and future opportunities.

    "This is about leading a principled discussion with our key partners around more fit-for-purpose funding options. The right incentives can create greater innovation in service provision, and provide a more diverse range of available funding tools," says Mr Yule.

    LGNZ's Local Government Funding Review 10-point plan: incentivising economic growth and strong local communities is available at www.lgnz.co.nz/home/our-work/our-policy-priorities/3.-sustainable-funding/local-government-funding-review/.

     
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