Future for Local Government Report focuses on the wrong issues
Commenting on He piki tūranga, he piki kōtuku –The future for local government final report, Taxpayers’ Union Campaigns Manager, Callum Purves, said:
“New Zealand is one of the most highly centralized countries in the world. Just around a tenth of government expenditure is delivered through our councils. And those councils are extremely large by international comparisons. The Auckland Super City is a prime example of bigger not being better where a merger has simply led to more managers, more layers of bureaucracy, and higher rates.
“This Review presented a great opportunity to fix this and put power closer to the people, but instead it has focussed on identity politics and public sector gimmicks like citizens’ assemblies and participatory budgeting. And the only structural reforms it proposes would likely see more centralizations and a further undermining of democratic accountability.
“New Zealanders aren’t interested in nebulous concepts like embedding a wellbeing focus in local government – they want to see high quality services delivered at a local level for the lowest rates possible. That means small, democratically accountable, powerful local councils where local people have the opportunity every three years to kick out politicians who aren’t performing.”