of the infrastructure sector have called for transformation, rather than
incremental change, of the culture and incentives between central and local
government to work together to promote national well-being,” says
Infrastructure NZ CEO Paul Blair.
NZ today released the results of Beca-sponsored polling taken during the 2019
Building Nations Symposium from 21-23 August. Over 720 industry leaders
attended the conference and were polled after each session on current and
overwhelmingly supported more tools for local and regional governments in order
to unlock the full potential of our regions.
“Only 2 per
cent of respondents believed that water provision should remain in its current
per cent of respondents agreed that water services should not be owned by local
councils and instead be delivered by regulated Watercare-type entities.
regional deals, where central and local governments partner to drive regional
economic development, also received particularly strong support, with 98 per
cent of respondents believing the approach would be useful in our context.
contributor to our governments' inability to respond to complex, multi-faceted
issues such as housing affordability and transport needs, is a culture where
central and local government lack trust and in fact often compete with each
deal model incentivises regional governments with the money and the
responsibility to take faster, localised action on the outcomes that matter to
communities and the country. It builds a more collaborative relationship.
65 and 74 per cent of respondents supported a redistribution of central
government’s GST, or income and corporate tax revenue, to local governments.
political system has evolved to the point where central government takes 93 per
cent of all taxes and rates revenue, leaving only 7 per cent for local and
regional authorities. This is highly unusual internationally.
proposal, which almost three-quarters of respondents supported, would double
the current $3 billion Provincial Growth Fund into a $6 billion Regional Growth
Fund and use it as a tool to align central and local government investment.
additional $3 billion over the next three years to regions who cooperate to
develop spatial plans would drive regional growth and development for the
benefit of the nation as a whole.
government would trial this responsibility-sharing through a city deal-type
arrangement where regions would be funded if they commit to and deliver on
complex system-wide outcomes such as adequate housing supply, reliable
transportation networks, healthy waters, and economic performance,” says Blair.
Group Chief Executive, Beca, commented that “New Zealanders want to see their
tax dollars invested in projects and outcomes that will improve how we live,
work and play in our communities. Encouraging stronger partnership between
central and local government would lead to better decisions and more effective
funding for regional infrastructure.
long-term planning and a transparent project pipeline will improve New
Zealand’s productivity and strengthen our economy. It will lessen the
impact of political change and encourage industry to invest with confidence in
upskilling our people and creating more jobs in our communities.
“We are not
keeping pace with the infrastructure needs of our country and our communities -
we need to be able to move together, both public and private sector, to plan
and deliver quality infrastructure at a faster pace,” says Lowe.
results of the polling, sponsored by Beca, from the 2019 Building Nations
Symposium can be found here.
A copy of
Infrastructure New Zealand’s thought leadership report “Building Regions: A
Vision for Local Government, Planning Law and Funding Reform” is available here.
For further information and comment contact Paul
Blair on 021 902 436