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MEDIA RELEASE

25 July 2016

Future proofing project launched at LGNZ conference

How New Zealand faces up to dramatic changes over the next 30 years is the focus of a major programme of work to be launched by Local Government New Zealand at its 2016 Conference today.

Over the next three decades New Zealand will have to adapt to significant economic, social, cultural and environmental changes. Whether it’s coping with increased urbanisation and what this means for cities and regions, responding to climate change, or caring for our environment, big challenges lie ahead.

To spark discussion and encourage Kiwis to think about these issues LGNZ is launching the 2050 Challenge: future proofing our communities discussion paper.

The purpose of the 2050 Challenge is to identify the major shifts taking place in New Zealand to better understand the implications for local and central government. Once released the public will be invited to have their say on the issues and contribute to the formation of strategies.

LGNZ President Lawrence Yule says because local government is charged with place-shaping and the delivery of public services it is required to take a long-term view.

“Local government plays a critical role in planning for the long-term prosperity of our communities, so it is right that local government leads this kind of discussion,” Mr Yule says.

“We need to talk about these issues now, because we need to be able to respond to these issues now. The 2050 Challenge is an excellent starting point for achieving long-term sustainability.”

Work done by LGNZ so far has grouped the challenges into five major themes – urbanisation, liveable cities and changing demographics; stewardship of our natural environment; responding to climate change; equality and cohesion; and the future of work.

The 2050 Challenge was sparked by the Young Elected Members committee of New Zealand councillors. The committee sees addressing the long term shifts impacting our communities as a critical issue for a sustainable and prosperous New Zealand.

Young Elected Members co-chair Ana Coffey, Deputy Mayor of Porirua City Council, says the 2050 Challenge doesn’t provide all the answers but asks the right questions and gives everyone the opportunity to be involved in future planning.

“The 2050 Challenge is a framework for thinking about the future, and we will need input from all of our communities to develop strategies for dealing with the big questions,” Ms Coffey says.

The LGNZ Conference 2016 is being held in Dunedin from 24-26 July.

The five major shifts in New Zealand over the next 30 years:

Urbanisation, liveable cities and changing demographics
• By 2043 Auckland is expected to become home to a further 800,000 people, expanding to 40 per cent of New Zealand’s population. Other major cities are also expected to grow.
• Concentration in urban centres is expected to come with a ‘hollowing out’ of many mid-sized towns and rural areas.
• By 2050 the working age population will need to support almost double the number of people aged 65+.

Stewardship of our natural environment
• Our natural environment continues to be under threat, despite efforts in many quarters to halt its degradation.
• Since human settlement in New Zealand, nearly one third of native species have become extinct.
• The quality of water in New Zealand’s lakes, rivers, streams, and aquifers is variable, and depends mainly on the dominant land use in the catchment.

Responding to climate change
• Changes include rising sea levels that will cause land loss through coastal erosion and storm events.
• Higher temperatures and changes to rainfall patterns that will affect economic activity and ecosystems.
• More intense tropical cyclones which increase the need for (and cost of) emergency response.
• Low carbon infrastructure and patterns of development are essential to future prosperity.

Equality and cohesion
• Inequality is difficult to measure, but looking at income levels and the concentration of wealth, inequality has worsened over the past 40 years.
• Research suggests that inequality reduces social cohesion—and moving from an area of high social cohesion to an area of low social cohesion is as bad for personal health outcomes as taking up smoking.

The future of work
• Automation holds the prospect of producing more with less—improving our nation’s overall prosperity.
• Achieving those benefits may require major structural changes in employment.
• Some have suggested that 46 per cent of New Zealand jobs are at high risk of automation before 2050.
• Jobs of the future do not appear to be like many of the jobs of the past.

About LGNZ and local government in New Zealand

Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) is the peak body representing New Zealand's 78 local, regional and unitary authorities. LGNZ advocates for local democracy, develops local government policy, and promotes best practice and excellence in leadership, governance and service delivery. Through its work strengthening sector capability, LGNZ contributes to the economic success and vibrancy of communities and the nation.

The local government sector plays an important role. In addition to giving citizens a say in how their communities are run, councils own a broad range of community assets worth more than $120 billion. These include 90 per cent of New Zealand's road network, the bulk of the country's water and waste water networks, and libraries, recreation and community facilities. Council expenditure is approximately $8.5 billion dollars, representing approximately 4 per cent of Gross Domestic Product and 11 per cent of all public expenditure.

For more information visit www.lgnz.co.nz.



Media Statement

18 July 2016

Hon Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga

Minister of Local Government

Government Response to ‘Loopy Rules’ Report


Local Government Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga today released the Government Response to the Rules Reduction Taskforce (RRT) “Loopy Rules” report.

The Taskforce was set up in 2015 to hear from people about what property related rules and regulations stop them from getting on with the job.

“The Taskforce report published in September 2015 provided a wealth of information about rules that New Zealanders found did not make sense or were inconsistently applied,” says Mr Lotu-Iiga.

The report identified 75 opportunities to improve the way rules and regulations are developed and implemented at a local level. Of those, the Taskforce highlighted ‘Top Ten Fixes’ that needed action.

“The Government accepts 72 of those opportunities and work is underway across Government to address them,” Mr Lotu-Iiga says. “The Government Response provides detailed analysis of what actions are being taken now and in the future”.

“Customer service was identified by the Taskforce as an issue for many New Zealanders seeking building and resource consents and generally dealing with property related matters. Many of these customer service issues require culture change at local level and we will work with councils to address this,” says Mr Lotu-Iiga.
“We received valuable feedback from a wide cross-section of New Zealanders. Too many rules and regulations hold our communities back.
“I would like to encourage the public to continue to let us know of any frustrating property related rules they experience by emailing rulesreduction@dia.govt.nz.”

To view the Government Response to the Rules Reduction Taskforce Report and related information, go to: www.rulesreduction.govt.nz.


Background:

The ‘top ten fixes’ recommended by the Rules Reduction Taskforce last September:

• make it easier to get building consents
• get serious about lifting the skills of the building sector
• make it easier to get resource consents
• reduce the cost of consenting fees
• sort out what ‘work safety’ means and how to do it
• make it clear what the rules are
• establish a new customer focus in the public sector
• introduce a stakeholder engagement approach to developing local government policies and regulations
• reform the Local Government Act 1974 and the Reserves Act 1977, and
• stop making loopy rules.


When and why was the Rules Reduction Taskforce set up?

The Taskforce was set up in response to findings in the Productivity Commission Report “Towards Better Local Regulation” in May 2013. This report highlighted that productivity in the building sector was being negatively affected by unnecessary red tape, excessive bureaucracy and property related rules and regulations that were not-fit-for-purpose.


Who was on the Rules Reduction Taskforce?

The Taskforce included 11 experienced representatives from industry, business, government, local government and community organisations. Details can be found at: www.beehive.govt.nz/release/taskforce-cut-red-tape-announced


How did the Taskforce get the public involved in the submission process?


Submissions were made at public meetings in 49 locations nationally, by using social media and also by written submissions through: www.govt.nz/rulesreduction. Close to 2,000 topics were covered in submissions, demonstrating a high level of public engagement.


Who did the Taskforce consult with?

The Taskforce engaged with a wide range of stakeholders including home owners, businesses, tradespeople, developers and local government.

What was the extent of the Taskforce’s findings?

There were 75 opportunities identified for improving the way property related rules and regulations are developed and implemented.

People were struggling with rules and regulations that were:
• outdated;
• overly bureaucratic;
• difficult to interpret;
• inconsistently applied; and
• disproportionate to the scale of the projects underway.

How are government agencies responding to the Taskforce Report’s findings and recommendations?

Progress is outlined in the Government Response to the Rules Reduction Taskforce Report to be found at: www.rulesreduction.govt.nz. Government agencies involved in responding to the Report include:

• Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment
• WorkSafe
• Ministry for the Environment
• Department of Internal Affairs
• Treasury
• Land Information New Zealand
• Department of Conservation
• Ministry of Health
• Ministry of Transport
• Ministry of Justice
• State Services Commission
• Ministry of Education.

Who will monitor progress on the initiatives being implemented to improve rule-making and implementation?


Ministers are responsible for the responses led from their portfolios. The Government is actively monitoring progress through reports to Business Growth Agenda Ministers. These Ministers meet regularly to coordinate and drive progress on the Government’s Business Growth Agenda. The next report back on progress will be in February 2017.

I know of problems with property related rules, what can I do?

If you have experienced frustrating property related rules you can email: rulesreduction@dia.govt.nz. Your message will be passed on to the relevant agency to consider.






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