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Manawatu-Whanganui councils share insights

Date: 29 July 2016

The Local Government Commission says the Manawatu-Whanganui councils are working well on taking a longer term view of the future.

Following a meeting earlier this week with the Regional Chiefs forum, Local Government Commissioner, Sir Wira Gardiner, said he was particularly impressed with the councils’ economic development strategy.

“Accelerate 25 is a bold strategy aimed at doubling the region’s GDP.  The Councils are now working with stakeholders throughout the region as well as central government to develop an action plan on how to achieve the goal.

“This is the sort of complex subject that requires new ways of working together if regions are to thrive.   We heard, for instance, that transport is a key enabler of the economic development strategy and that further work is required across the region to ensure it has an appropriate transport system and infrastructure  that is fit for the future,” said Sir Wira.

The Local Government Commission’s conversation with the Manawatu-Whanganui councils was the last in the Commission’s regional conversations programme which began in November 2015.

Yesterday’s meeting was preceded by one the week before last with representatives from the Chatham Islands Council.  A key takeaway point from that conversation was the great support the Chathams’ get from ECAN, the Regional Council in Canterbury.

“Over the course of the last year we have met and talked with nearly every Mayor or Council Chair in the country.  There’s a tremendous amount of hard work and good will being shown as councils and their councillors work to tackle challenges, to develop shared services and other innovative solutions,” said Sir Wira Gardiner.

“It’s great to see first-hand the energy and enthusiasm of council leaders as they focus on finding new ways to solve what otherwise might become intractable problems.  It’s also good for the Commission to hear about any obstacles councils may be having so that we can offer assistance or ideas to help overcome them,” said Sir Wira.


Media contact:

Michael Player | Local Government Commission | Department of Internal Affairs Te Tari Taiwhenua

DDI +64 4 474 8164| MOB 027 224 8181 | Michael.Player@dia.govt.nz