Submission to proposal to re-instate the four well-beings into the Local Government Act 2002


Submission to the proposal to re-instate the four well-beings into the Local Government Act 2002

By

Economic Development NZ

24 May 2018

Submission regarding the reinstatement of the four well-beings in the Local Government Act 2002

1.       About Economic Development New Zealand

EDNZ is a national not for profit that represents and serves economic development agencies and practitioners throughout NZ.  Our members include the 14 regional economic development agencies, local economic development agencies, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, New Zealand Trade & Enterprise, many individual practitioners and various councils and consultancies.

Our members typically promote economic well-being at a regional and local level.  Some also have responsibility for social and community well-being.

We have consulted with our regional development agencies on the proposal to reinstate the four well-beings into the Local Government Act 2002 and have reflected their views below.

2.     First and most importantly, our members are overwhelmingly supportive of the reinstatement of the ‘4 well-beings’ in the LG Act 2002.

3.     Members view the 4 well beings as inseparable and encourage an alignment of effort and strategy at an organisational level, both horizontally and vertically.

4.     That the principle of subsidiarity be used when considering the different roles an functions of central and local government and that greater devolution may in fact deliver superior outcomes both democratically and fiscally.

5.   Following on from that point, members are of the view that promotion of the 4 well-beings should be underpinned by a move towards multi-level governance models that involve all tiers of government (and may also involve
participants from the private and NGO sectors) in the delivery of economic development in particular and related spheres of well-being.

6.  That where multi-level governance models are adopted that they should be reflected in the funding  model adopted to support operations

7.  The Economic Development Agencies we represent collectively have a budget of towards $160 million and circa 800 staff (not including central government agencies).  They have the collective capacity to deliver
transformational projects valued at over $500 million per annum.

8. Our EDA’s are substantially reliant upon local government funding. At the present time local government’s contribution to economic development is just over 2% of its collective budget.  This contribution sees New Zealand
placed 8th lowest of all OECD states in terms of local investment in economic development.

9. A number of EDA’s are reporting that their budgets are flatlining or reducing with no increases planned by their local councils over the coming years.  This often includes a lack of provision to keep pace with
inflation.

10.  Local government is fiscally challenged and burdened by significant debt in some instances. Our members would like to stress the need for resources to be allocated to local government to enable it to meet its statutory
responsibilities, but also to play an active role in delivering outcomes for their communities.

11. We encourage government to consult with local government and act quickly to develop an appropriate model of funding that will allow local government to meet its proposed responsibilities
around the four well-beings.

12. As a matter of principle, our members believe that Local Government is a legitimate and equal partner in the government of NZ and should be recognised as such formally through either a
partnership agreement and / or within the NZ Constitution.

13.  As a legitimate and equal partner in the government of NZ our members believe that local government should also have significant input into how and at what level it is funded.

Should you wish to explore any of the views articulated above please contact:

Susan Houston, EO of EDNZ    027 440 6180

David Wilson, Chair EDNZ         021 763 085