Date: 9 March 2016
The Local Government Commission was in Nelson/Tasman last week to meet with and hear from mayors and chief executives as part of the Commission’s Regional Conversations initiative. Commissioner Janie Annear, a former three-term Mayor of Timaru, led the Commission team.
“We are especially pleased to have had the opportunity to come to Nelson to meet Nelson and Tasman local government leaders and hear from them about the opportunities and challenges facing the region, and how they are approaching them,’’ Mrs Annear said.
“It is particularly important for us to get a good picture of the local context and the best way we can do that is by meeting with and speaking to local government representatives from the area,’’ she said.
Nelson Mayor Rachel Reese and Tasman Mayor Richard Kempthorne commented that it had been a very good opportunity to meet with the Local Government Commission representatives. They said it had highlighted the amount of collaboration that already occurs between the adjoining Councils.
They were also able to discuss the initiatives being considered, including pursuing joint management of solid waste landfill. Also discussed was the alignment of roading contracts. It was good to explore ways the Commission can assist with collaboration between Councils, they said.
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 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.’’
Mrs Annear said the Nelson/Tasman visit had been “an informative exercise for the Commission’’.
Simon Cunliffe | Local Government Commission | Department of Internal Affairs Te Tari Taiwhenua
DDI +64 4 474 8164| MOB 027 809 3833 | Simon.Cunliffe@dia.govt.nz