A month on from the release of Ārewa ake te Kaupapa – Raising the Platform, we are gearing up for a great conversation with the Future for Local Government Review Panel at our conference taking place from 6-7 December 2021 titled 2050: Embracing the Challenge Creating the Future. We look forward to you joining us and exploring what it will take to create the conditions for community well-being. In this article we look at the opportunities we will discuss in December and beyond.

The Panel’s examination of the Future for Local Government
is expansive and recognises that we need to transform the current system if we are to tackle society’s big challenges, turn the dial on community well-being and address inequity.

Reimaging the central-local government relationship

The five priority questions the Panel has posed presents us with a unique opportunity to consider local government’s role in place-based leadership, looking beyond traditional hierarchies and boundaries, functions and service delivery. This includes examining the roles and functions of central government, and the way that it is organised.

It invites consideration of the role local government within the system - as convenor, broker and facilitator of relationships that pursue opportunities to improve community well-being. It also involves exploring how we involve communities in decision making – co-creation, power sharing and self-determination.

Authentic partnership

The Panel’s exploration of the how the system could embody an authentic partnership under Te Tiriti o Waitangi and create the conditions for shared prosperity and well-being should first be a question for Māori. That said, how we recognise and give effect to Tino Rangatiratanga, incorporate Te Ao Māori values and principles, provide for shared decision making and 'by Māori for Māori approaches' within the local governance system are overdue, challenging, and critical areas to explore.

Ensuring equity now, and in the future

It is also good to see that for the first time in the dozen or so reviews of local government funding and financing there is an emphasis on equity that goes beyond the notion of intergenerational equity. This opens up a conversation about the policy tools that local authorities might already have for promoting equity such as the mix of fixed versus value-based rates and the potential for new tools such as income support or other targeted assistance.

Where to from here?

There is a lot to discuss at the Taituarā Conference in December and the months ahead. After the conference, we will be preparing a discussion paper and coming out to see you all in February next year.

We know that you are juggling a lot right now. Here at Taituarā we are very much focused on the skills that local government professionals need for the future both as we transition to it and once we get there. These include the skills for leading and managing change, collaboration, innovation, and action - with all the complexities and challenges these entail.

Get in touch

Please let us know if you need any support or have suggestions for future training and development. For further information please contact Kath Ross, Interim General Manager, Transitions.