New Zealand’s 78 local authorities are a significant component of the New Zealand economy. They make up 4% of GDP, spend $7.5 billion per year of ratepayer money, and manage $100 billion worth of public assets.

They deliver a wide range of critical regulatory functions and services that directly impact the lives of New Zealanders every day.

The Government’s ‘Better Local Government Reform’ programme will improve the operation of local government in New Zealand. It will focus local authorities on operating more efficiently and effectively by doing things that only they can do.

It will deliver settings that will encourage local authorities to reduce red tape and compliance, minimise rates for households and businesses, control their debt, and provide high quality infrastructure at the least possible cost.

Can we ask local government to do better? The short answer is yes.