Date: 22 March 2016
The Local Government Commission was in Tauranga yesterday to meet with and hear from Bay of Plenty local government leaders, as part of the Commission’s Regional Conversations initiative. Commission Chair Sir Wira Gardiner, Commissioner Leigh Auton and Chief Executive Sandra Preston attended meetings with the Bay of Plenty Regional Council, and with the region’s Mayors.
“One of the purposes of the Regional Conversations initiative is for the Commission to listen and learn, so we are delighted to have had the opportunity to come to Tauranga and hear first-hand about the opportunities and challenges facing the region, and how they are being approached,’’ Sir Wira said.
“We’ve heard about region-wide collaboration in the Bay of Plenty in broad terms, so it has been an excellent and very productive chance to learn about initiatives in greater detail.
“The Local Government Futures project is of particular interest. We have learnt a lot about the drivers required for successful collaboration of this kind and have been impressed with how this has been managed in the Bay of Plenty.
“It has been equally instructive to appreciate the depths of the relationships underpinning these initiatives. I know we will be able to share this information with other mayors and councils around the country.’’
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 particular issues different regions might face.
“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,’’ Sir Wira said.
“Equally, we encourage information on any obstacles presented, and are able to offer assistance or options, if appropriate, for overcoming those.’’
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