Top 12 stories from NZ Local Government magazine
By LGNZ editor, Graham Hawkes
Thereís a curious kind of hiatus in the process that is will see major changes to LGA 2002 and the way councils and their partners run local government in this country.
Since the dramatic announcement from the Key government that councils will need to turn away from worrying about the wellbeings and get back to rates, rubbish and all the less exciting aspects of council work, thereís been an eerie calm.
David Carter has been conspicuous by his public absence as new Local Government Minister, but perhaps Iím being unfair and heís been burning the midnight oil to get up to speed with the portfolio.
John Key continues to look slightly miserable and weighed down, and a few councils have been mulling over whether they should be going to the people over amalgamation, cost-cutting and downsizing.
Christchurchís renaissance seems to be at a snailís pace and itís all a bit depressing. If the dramatic events surrounding Nick Smithís demise and the release of ĎBetter Local Governmentí were good for some excitement value Ė itís all gone a bit flat, and thatís not good for the country, the economy, or for peopleís morale in a flattish economy where jobs are hard to find.
Itís time for the countryís mayors to get together and restore some public leadership to the LG sector. Sure, the work is still going on, but councils, their staff and ratepayers need to know that the drive and the vision is still there.
Changes to the LGA need care
Kobus Mentz, director of Urbanismplus and Susannah Goble, urban planner, give their thoughts on proposed changes to the Local Government Act and the ways that community aspirations can be delivered through local councils.
Hamilton City tells ratepayers: Sorry!
Hamilton City Councilís mayor and councillors are apologising to Hamilton residents for the recent mail-out to property owners regarding flood risk.
Disaster management via social media
New Zealand has seen more than its fair share of natural and man-made disasters recently. One positive spinoff from the grounding of the Rena and the Canterbury quakes is the use of social media for communication.
Spelling out tsunami danger
Wellington City Council is getting the message about tsunami across to ratepayers in a particularly graphic manner.
Let the arguments begin
The new Minister of Local Government is concentrating on getting his feet under the new portfolio desk, but all round the country, councils and their suppliers and partners are trying to figure out what happens next. Thereís controversial legislation to come, but do councils need to change their modus operandi immediately? Read More...
Road funding under spotlight
At the time this article was written, the Ministerial Task Force on Road Maintenance Funding was beginning to wind up its work and preparations are underway to share its findings as widely as possible.
LG sectorís halo has slipped
LGA 2002 promised a brave new world in New Zealandís local government sector. Now suddenly the Government says it hasnít produced the expected outcomes. Larry N. Mitchell takes up the story.
Revolving door delivers new LG minister
Nick Smith resigns as Local Government Minister, setting off a series of changes and decisions that eventually delivered David Carter. Linda OíReilly has been analysing the upheavals.
Whatís On in Local Government
To add to this list of Local Government sector conferences and events, email the editor: firstname.lastname@example.org
Water infrastructure is costly
Investment in vital infrastructure, including the Taupo arterial water treatment plant and wastewater treatment plant, has inevitably increased the Taupo District Councilís debt levels.
Noting water quality change
Getting rid of our wastewater without causing too much damage to the environment is increasingly a worrying and expensive problem. This article looks at how we are going with this difficult subject.
Progress on Tui Mine water
Water quality results from the first round of testing at the contaminated Tui Mine have been received and look promising, according to Waikato Regional Council.
EECA promotes energy savings
Eight companies have been appointed to help businesses in New Zealand cut their lighting bills.
Coming up in NZ Local Government Magazine
Coming in June's issue: Flood management, Air quality, and solid waste.
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If you have news for us contact Graham Hawkes on 09 529 3000