The Department of Internal Affairs

The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation

 

Background for the 2014 Amendment Act

Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 3)

A summary of the key changes made to the Bill can be found here:

Many of the proposed changes made by the Amendment Act were in response to reports by the Local Government Efficiency Taskforce and the Infrastructure Expert Advisory Group, which were established earlier in the Better Local Government programme.

Background for the development contributions reform

Aspects of the development contributions reforms were based on:

  • issues raised in the New Zealand Productivity Commission’s Housing Affordability Inquiry (2012);
  • issues identified and tested as part of the preparation and consultation on the Department of Internal Affairs (2013) Development Contributions Discussion Document;
  • analysis of information contained in:
    • reports commissioned by the Department of Internal Affairs on charges contained in draft 2012 development contributions policies and case studies of the use of development contributions by five territorial authorities;  
    • reports on overseas experience with development contributions and levies, including reports from the Australian Productivity Commission and various case studies of development contributions (or levies) in Australia, the United States, United Kingdom and Canada;
    • submissions made during the New Zealand Productivity Commission’s Housing Affordability Inquiry (2012), and submissions on the Department of Internal Affairs Development Contributions Discussion Document (2013);
    • High Court judicial review and declaratory legal judgements relating to development contributions and Environment Court decisions on financial contributions; 
    • 29 territorial authority development contribution policies (and corresponding financial strategy and long-term plan documentation)
  • targeted engagement with development contributions practitioners and developer representatives  – mainly discussions and other communications with:
    • Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ);
    • Society of Local Government Managers (SOLGM);
    • Property Council New Zealand;
    • territorial authority officers and practitioners (via the SOLGM Development Contributions Working Group); and
    • a sample of property and land developers.

Development contributions review

Early in 2013 the Department of Internal Affairs undertook a review of development contributions.  This review was part of both the Better Local Government programme and the wider Government response to housing affordability issues.

As part of the review, the Minister of Local Government released a discussion paper about the current development contributions regime.  Submissions on this paper closed on 15 March 2013.

Background to the consultation, decision-making and long term/annual plans reforms

These aspects of the reforms were based on:

  • issues raised in the Local Government Efficiency Taskforce report (December 2012)
  • analysis of information:
    • provided to the Efficiency Taskforce (which did a survey of councils, for example)
    • gathered as part of the review of the Local Government Act 2002 done by the Local Government Commission in 2008 – this included council and public surveys/research into the consultation and decision making provisions
  • targeted engagement with some council representatives – mainly:
    • discussions with some of the chief executives who are members of the Central Government Local Government Chief Executives Forum (both during a Forum meeting, and individual follow up conversations)
    • a teleconference with some mayors – selected and organised by Local Government New Zealand
    • round table discussions between the Minister and Local Government New Zealand and the Society of Local Government Managers
    • feedback during the drafting of the Bill from Local Government New Zealand and the Society of Local Government Managers (who also involved officers from a few councils), plus the Office of the Auditor-General