Mar 2014 update
PSA submission to the Local Government Amendment Bill (#3)
Submission click here
PSA submission to the Local Government Commission on the Northland
Submission click here
Nov 2013 update
Local Government Amendment Bill (#3) now in Parliament
The second proposed LG amendment Bill (#3) has now been introduced into Parliament, so we need to start work on our submission. The Bill amends the Local Government Act 2002 to:
- change what development contributions can be used for;
- allow for objections to development contributions charges;
- encourage more collaboration and shared services between local authorities;
- make consultation requirements more flexible;
- provide for a new significance and engagement policy;
- enable more efficient and focused consultation on long-term plans and annual plans;
- remove unnecessary duplication between annual plans and long-term plans;
- introduce new requirements for infrastructure strategies and asset management planning;
- enable elected members to use technology to participate in council meetings, rather than attending in person;
- require councils to disclose information about their rating bases in long-term plans, annual plans and annual reports; and
- require disclosure of risk management arrangements for physical assets in annual reports.
The Bill also includes provisions that enable the Local Government Commission to:
- establish local boards (similar to those in Auckland) as part of new unitary authorities, and in existing unitary authorities; and
- create council-controlled organisations and joint committees as part of a reorganisation scheme.
Sep 2013 update
PSA proposals to the Local Government Commission on workforce transition in reorganisations.
When the Commission met PSA recently, it said that the Commissioners would like to hear our views on workforce transition and employment arrangements as an input to their deliberations on the reorganisations proposals that they are currently considering.
At our recent annual national local government conference and the delegates heard from Donald Riezebos from the Commission on local government reorganisation. Following his presentation, the delegates considered the issues that are important to them in any reorganisation and that discussion provides the basis for our proposals.
Jul 2013 update
A further Local Government Amendment Bill will have a first reading before the end of this year. The Government says phase two of Better Local Government will include:
The new Bill would remove requirements to use the SpecialConsultative Procedure, except in relation to long-term plans and new or significant changes to bylaws. This will enable councils to consult in ways that are appropriate to different matters and local circumstances.
A new consultative document will be proposed. Councils would use this to consult on matters in the long-term plan, instead ofpublishing a full draft and a summary of that plan. The consultative document would focus only on
explaining the key issues and choices the council and its communities are facing. It wouldn’t contain complicated technical or financial information. The final version of the plan would, however, still need to contain these details to maintain transparency to ratepayers.
A further area of reform, which will be delivered in this year’s Bill, is enhanced two-tier governance across New Zealand. This initiative delivers on a request from local government and it provides the ability for local boards to be established more widely as councils are reorganised or amalgamated.
Last year’s Local Government Act allowed for the Auckland two-tier model of governance to be copied in some circumstances – that is, where a proposed metropolitan unitary authority has a population of more than 400,000 – but it
did not enable this for smaller populations. They are not proposed to replace community boards – both options should be available. The sector has asked for the ability for local boards to be available to smaller regions. We will deliver this in the upcoming Bill.
Economies of scale
The Efficiency Taskforce and the Infrastructure Expert Advisory Group noted the potential for efficiency gains by changing the scale at which services are planned, funded or delivered. This can be achieved by:
• The reorganisation of councils
• Collaboration between councils
• Transferring responsibilities from territorial authorities to regional councils
The new Bill will improve on the provisions that currently deal with these matters.