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Commission ‘impressed’ by Waikato

Date: 22 Feb 2016

The Local Government Commission has been in the Waikato today to meet with and hear from the region’s Mayors, Chief Executives and Regional Council Chair as part of the Commission’s Regional Conversations initiative. Commissioner Janie Annear, a former three-term Mayor of Timaru, represented the Commission at the Waikato Mayoral Forum, and was impressed by the proceedings.

“We’re delighted to have had the opportunity to come to Hamilton to hear from local government leaders about the opportunities and challenges facing the region, and how they are approaching them,’’ Mrs Annear said. “I’ve been very impressed at the innovative and forward-thinking approaches of local leaders.

“There are initiatives and directions we’ve heard about today that I know we will be able to share with other mayors and councils around the country.’’

Mrs Annear pointed to ventures such as the joint Waikato Plan, the Three Waters initiative and the Waikato Means Business shared economic development strategy, as good examples of councils collaborating to advance the interests of the region and its ratepayers.

The Regional Conversations programme is the Commission’s new approach to engaging with councils, focusing on collaboration and facilitation to come up with solutions to issues regions might face.

“We appreciate that while many communities and their local government leaders face similar challenges, each region will have its particular needs, context and potential solutions,’’ Mrs Annear said. “As part of our role to promote good local government we hope to stimulate, enable and share conversations towards meeting common aspirations: efficient services and cost-effective modern infrastructure allied to good quality-local decision making.

“Equally, we’d like to hear about any obstacles presented and offer assistance or ideas, if appropriate, in overcoming those.’’

Media contact:

Simon Cunliffe | DDI +64 4 474 8164| MOB 027 809 3833 | Simon.Cunliffe@dia.govt.nz