Local government funding and financing: public views sought

The Productivity Commission has published an issues paper for its inquiry into local government funding and financing.

“This inquiry will investigate what sort of changes to funding and financing arrangements are needed to enable local government to best fulfil its role,” says Murray Sherwin, chair of the commission in a media release. “The circumstances of local government vary greatly across New Zealand, so the commission is seeking submissions and input from across the spectrum of councils.”

The issues paper briefly describes local government in New Zealand and how funding and financing currently works. It asks questions about current pressure points and ways that councils can manage cost pressures. It then seeks views on options for future funding and financing tools.

“The issues paper is a crucial part of our inquiry process. It gives the commission the opportunity to lay out the context and scope of the inquiry and to ask questions about important areas where more information, thought and discussion is required. We encourage anybody with an interest to read through the paper, think about the questions and participate by making a submission.”

“Local government plays an essential role in New Zealand’s system of government as both a provider of services and a voice for local democracy, and its activities have a huge influence on the day to day lives of New Zealanders” says Sherwin. “Local government is responsible for providing the services (including water, transport, flood protection, waste management) that enable communities to function effectively.”

The issues paper and details about how to make a submission are on the Commission’s website. The closing date for submissions is 15 February 2019. The Productivity Commission’s final report to the Government is due on 30 November 2019.


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