Hutt City Council and the Dowse Art Museum today hosted the Minister of Local Government Hon Nanaia Mahuta for her announcement of a review into the future of local government.
Lower Hutt Mayor Campbell Barry has welcomed the review, saying it will support work to strengthen partnerships between central government, local government, and iwi, and create a new future for local government which will support council’s to address the most pressing challenges facing local communities.
“This review has come at a critical time for local government. Our infrastructure is ageing, we have to build more homes, and there is uncertainty around the three water reforms and changes to the RMA,” says Campbell Barry.
“Our fundamental job is to improve the wellbeing of our people, and to make sure that every single person we serve is able to thrive. However, we can’t achieve this goal and front up to the significant challenges we face within a system that is over 30 years old.”
“Our community’s expectations of local government are as high as ever, and rightly so, but our funding options are as limited as they’ve ever been. Something has to change in order for us to respond to the needs of our communities, without saddling them with unsustainable rates increases and debt.”
Campbell Barry says a review of the local government sector is timely, and it will be important for people to engage in the review to help shape the outcome.
“The review will ultimately capture the thoughts of the people it engages. It is critical our community takes the time to have their say and give feedback, to ensure that the outcome and future of our sector meets the needs of the diverse communities we serve.”
The review is expected to take two years, with findings presented to the Minister of Local Government in April 2023. More information can be found at www.beehive.govt.nz.