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Review proposes significant changes to strengthen local government system

28 October 2022

Local government must be revitalised in order for New Zealand communities to thrive, according to a draft report published by the Review into the Future for Local Government.

The Review has today published its draft report, He mata whāriki, he matawhānui, which poses key questions and 29 draft recommendations to provoke discussion about how New Zealand’s local government system can be transformed to maximise community wellbeing.

This is the second of three reports produced by an independent Panel exploring how local government can enable communities to thrive, both now and into the future.

Submissions and feedback on the draft report are welcomed from now until 28 February 2023 to shape the final Report, which will be delivered in June 2023.

“Local government plays a vital role in contributing to community wellbeing, and the world we live in is vastly different to 30 years ago when the current system was last overhauled,” says Chair of the Review, Jim Palmer.

“We’ve spent a lot of time engaging with central and local government, iwi, businesses, community organisations, young people and the wider public to shape the draft report and recommendations. There is significant potential within the local government system, and by revitalising it, we can support and enable it to better address 21st century challenges and deliver on community needs.

“The Report looks at how democracy can be strengthened; the roles, functions and structures of local government; the creation of stronger partnerships between central and local government and iwi Mâori; and enabling local solutions to local problems.

“Feedback on the key questions and recommendations in the report will play an important role in the final report. We invite everyone to contribute to the future of local government in New Zealand through the submissions process.”

The questions and recommendations within the draft report come under five categories where shifts are required:
  • Strengthened local democracy
  • Authentic relationships with hapû, iwi and Mâori
  • A focus on wellbeing
  • Genuine partnership between central and local government
  • More equitable funding
“The Review is an important step in a critical process to revitalise local government in Aotearoa New Zealand”, says Local Government New Zealand President Stuart Crosby.

“Our country needs a local governance system that is community focused, and citizen centred, based on strong relationships and partnerships. That’s what the Report recommendations aim to achieve.”

Submissions and feedback on the draft report are welcomed and encouraged from today until 28 February 2023. They can be made via


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