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2022 Media Releases



2022 Media Releases

As part of the Government’s cost of living package, fares on all public transport services around the country were reduced from 1 April this year. The subsidy is set to end on 31 March 2023.

If you’re under 40, you’re a Young Elected Member and it’s time to elect your Committee. Find out what the YEM Committee does, how to stand and how to vote online. 

Simpson Grierson has prepared a summary document that outlines changes proposed in the Local Government Official Informational and Meetings Amendment Bill.

We've now shared our resource management draft submission and our Three Waters submission outline.

A key local government concern about Three Waters Reform is whether local voice will be heard. Each of the four water service entities will have its own constitution that sets out details about how it’s governed and held accountable. The Minister of Local Government has asked local government to codesign the content of these constitutions through four working groups, one for each entity (see her letter). LGNZ’s National Council has agreed to gather nominations for people to be on these working groups to lead that process.  

The Government’s resource management reform bills have had their first reading. These bills have now been referred to the Environment Select Committee – with a very tight deadline of 30 January for written submissions.  To help councils start on their submissions, we’ve shared our submission outline, which highlights issues that councils are also likely to want to submit on. 

The Natural and Built Environment Bill and the Spatial Planning Bill have now been referred to the Environment Select Committee – with a deadline of 30 January for written submissions. “This is a once in a generation planning reform.

Here's a brief explainer on what they are, plus what council belongs in which zone/sector group. 

16 November 2022

Speed limit consultation

Public consultation has opened on the Interim State Highway Speed Management Plan, which includes proposals to reduce speed limits in some areas. 

The Government have introduced two pieces of legislation intended to replace the Resource Management Act. The Government says this reform will create a faster, cheaper and more efficient system but we have some reservations about that. 

“This review is a once in a generation chance to move past the two-dimensional way we think about councils,” says LGNZ President Stuart Crosby.

Over the next six weeks, we’ll be running elections for our Metro, Provincial, Rural and Regional Chairs, and for Chairs of each of our six geographic zones.

13 October 2022

Join Te Maruata whānui

Find out who Te Maruata Roopu Whakahaere is and how to become a part of the whānui, plus the details around the elections and hui, which is coming up on 6 December. 

10 October 2022

Find your whānui

We have three sub-committees to National Council – Te Maruata, Young Elected Members, and the Community Board Executive Committee. These sub-committees and networks play an advisory role to National Council on relevant issues and provide support to their member collective.  

LGNZ ran a multi-faceted campaign to increase the diversity of candidates as well as voter turnout this year, but preliminary results still indicate there is a massive gap to bridge between turnout for local elections compared with central government elections.

Next week, from 12-18 September, we celebrate Te Wiki o te reo Māori (Māori language week).  Let’s continue to celebrate te reo Māori as a unique taonga (treasure) of Aotearoa New Zealand for future generations.  

Those enrolled to vote can expect to receive their voting papers in the mailbox from today until the 21st of September.   

Currently only four out of ten of New Zealanders vote in local elections, compared to the eight out of ten that turn out to general elections.

The Mayors Taskforce for Jobs (MTFJ) Community Recovery Programme began as a small COVID-19 recovery pilot in 2020. It is now a leading example of grassroots community-based employment initiative created through a local and central government partnership.

Local Government NZ (LGNZ) is backing IAG’s pragmatic and sensible solutions to help reduce flood risk in the country.   

“Tens of thousands of New Zealanders live in houses that are prone to flooding,” says LGNZ’s Chief Executive Susan Freeman-Greene.

Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) is revealing some tips and tricks for voters to get to know candidates ahead of the elections this year.

This is the first year that many of these councils have implemented Māori wards, which will see more than 60 new Māori ward councillors. “It’s fantastic to see so many people putting their hands up,” says LGNZ’s Chief Executive Susan Freeman-Greene.

 LGNZ welcomes the Government’s move to allow councils to own bus services.   

The Public Transport Operating Model (PTOM) has been replaced with the new Sustainable Public Transport Framework.

Nominations for this year’s local body elections close tomorrow and there’s been a concerningly low number in some parts of the country. We know Councils will have questions about what happens if there aren’t enough candidates to fill their vacant seats, so we’ve written a Q&A so you know what to expect if you find your council in this situation. Your Council’s Electoral Officer will be able to answer any questions you have too.  

This has led Local Government New Zealand’s CouncilMARK programme to award the Council an A grade in its latest independent assessment report published today, improving on its previous score of BBB.

 Last election saw the lowest number of nominations in relation to available seats since LGNZ began collecting data. At this rate, we risk seeing an even lower number this year.  “Competition for seats is a sign of a healthy democracy.

Michael McCartney, Regional Chief Executive Officers Group Convenor for Te Uru Kahika – Regional and Unitary Councils Aotearoa said the regional sector is hard at work on the complex challenge of responding to climate change impacts.

Despite the challenges associated with the region’s rapid population growth and with the added pressure of operating in a Covid-19 environment, the report found that the Council has made significant inroads over the last four years.

Today the Government released its National Adaptation Plan (NAP), which aims to address the harmful impacts of climate change.  


“Councils and communities at risk from the impacts of climate change need more clarity on their options to help residents adapt,” Stuart Crosby said.

Local Government New Zealand’s (LGNZ) member councils have today passed a remit, proposed by Kaipara District Council, that calls on the Government to limit the retail availability of vapes to specialist stores and include proximity restrictions in this year’s round of amendments.

Remit #1 Central government funding for public transport 

 This remit was proposed by Porirua City Council and supported by the Metro Sector.

“It’s abundantly clear that when it comes to the management and delivery of the country’s drinking, waste and storm water, one size does not fit all,” says President Stuart Crosby.  “The local government sector has been advocating for water reforms for decades.

Porirua City Council has won the top honour at the Local Government NZ (LGNZ) EXCELLENCE Awards 2022 for its efforts in restoring the health of hundreds of kilometres of streams and its hallowed harbour.

“Our indigenous biodiversity is a taonga, and there is no doubt that a national approach is required to protect it.

“The LGNZ Conference will be the first time the entire sector will get a chance to get together after the local body elections,” says LGNZ President Stuart Crosby.

LGNZ President Stuart Crosby says this year’s conference Te Wā Heke Mai: the Future, will connect over 600 of the sector’s leaders and representatives, amid once in a generation reform facing the sector.

With 32 councils across the country implementing Māori wards this year, more than 50 new Māori ward councillors will be joining the ranks of elected members. “Te Āhuru Mōwai – A Safe Haven is a tuakana-teina support programme.

“The purpose of the survey was to better understand the experiences that elected officials face at work and touched on topics such as diversity, inclusion, bullying and harassment,” says LGNZ President Stuart Crosby.

Mitchell Boyce, an 18-year-old school leaver from Tararua College, gained an apprenticeship at Murray Judd Joinery in Woodville, with the support of MTFJ and MSD’s Community Recovery Programme. The programme also provided him with tools and helped him gain his restricted driver licence.

CouncilMARK™ is an independent assessment programme that assesses how councils are performing and is designed to support individual councils to improve the service and value they provide.

“Slow down on the reforms and get out of your silos,” is the clear message to the Government from the rural and provincial councils of New Zealand.

LGNZ’s advocacy and influence has pushed the Government to change the law that requires candidates to publish their residential address on electoral campaign advertisements.    

The changes will be implemented in time for this year’s local body elections.

The Water Services Entities Bill introduced to the House today marks an important milestone in the Three Waters Reform process.   


“Everyone agrees the way we deliver water services needs to change,” says LGNZ President Stuart Crosby.   


“LGNZ will be making a detailed submission, championing local voice.

The Rural Supplies Working Group recommendations have been released by the Department of Internal Affairs today, confirming that private supplies won’t transfer to new entities.    

 “This is a real win for our rural communities.

“Cheaper public transport fares must be seen as much more than a way to help ease the burden of the rising cost of living on households.   


“Climate change is an issue that’s confronting many councils around the country.

“For so long the “postcode lottery” has plagued our communities living in remote parts of the country.  

“The new locality networks will play a key role in ensuring that the quality of care you receive won’t be determined by where you live.

“The Government will have missed a trick if it doesn’t continue its public transport subsidy,” says LGNZ President Stuart Crosby.  


“Broad behaviour change doesn’t happen in three months but councils around the country have been reporting an increase in people using public transport since half-price fares were introduced.

“This is the bold ambition, and we know it will take more than one election cycle to make lasting changes,” says Local Government New Zealand’s Chief Executive Susan Freeman-Greene.  

Of the current mayors, councillors and other elected members: 40. 5% are women. 13.

Te Uru Kahika – Regional and Unitary Councils Aotearoa recognises the new online tool released by the NZ SeaRise: Te Tai Pari O Aotearoa programme for its contribution to understanding the timeline for relative sea level rise across New Zealand.

LGNZ President Stuart Crosby says the new Infrastructure Strategy is an important step towards addressing the critical issues affecting our communities.   

“Reliable infrastructure is the backbone to creating healthy, thriving communities and a resilient local economy.

LGNZ President Stuart Crosby says the Government’s decisions on the Three Waters Governance Working Group recommendations provide much-needed momentum, as well as certainty for ratepayers.

Te Uru Kahika – Regional and Unitary Councils Aotearoa acknowledges today’s Environment Aotearoa 2022 Report as a key milestone from the Government on the state of our natural environment and its connection with our collective wellbeing.

In its latest CouncilMARK report, released today, Upper Hutt City Council is commended for its careful leadership as it reorients to manage rapid change and growth and to deliver long-term benefits to the community.

In the face of increasingly frequent and extreme weather events, Te Uru Kahika - Regional and Unitary Councils Aotearoa’s Chief Executive Officers Group is urging central government to prioritise sustained Central Government co-investment in flood protection across New Zealand.

LGNZ President Stuart Crosby says the Government’s announcement today that councils can now apply for the Three Waters reform better off support package is good news for communities.

LGNZ welcomes the Three Waters Representation, Governance and Accountability Working Group recommendations, especially the proposal for council shareholding to further strengthen community ownership, added protections against privatisation, a strengthened focus on the health and wellbeing of our water, and much stronger mechanisms for local voice.

Capturing tamariki’s imaginations, the Ngā Pōti ā-Taiohi - Youth Voting 2022 programme for years 7-10 helps our young people see how they can  help shape their communities by voting for people who represent their ideas or beliefs.

Local Government New Zealand highly commends Central Hawke’s Bay District Council’s leadership and commitment to delivering for their community, which is highlighted in its newly released CouncilMARK report.

Local Government New Zealand’s independent CouncilMARK programme is giving Mackenzie District Council’s performance a tick of approval in its second assessment.

The capital has been announced as one of 15 winners in the Bloomberg Philanthropies’ 2021-2022 Global Mayors Challenge.

Kiwis are known for our manakitanga – how we care about our communities, how we build and nurture relationships, and how we engage with one another. In 2019 following a two-year pilot, Immigration New Zealand established the Welcoming Communities – Te Waharoa ki ngā Hapori  programme.

Christchurch City Council has delighted the city’s bookworms with a decision this month to remove charges on overdue library items. Coming into play on March 1, the decision not only removes charges going forward but also wipes all historical charges.

Te Uru Kahika, the Regional and Unitary Councils of Aotearoa New Zealand, have appointed Dr Chris Daughney as the sector’s inaugural Chief Science Advisor.