Election asks: local Government

We asked political parties about working with local government to serve the wellbeing of their communities.

These are the questions we sent. When we get responses from the parties, we’ll add them to this page.

Will you…

Retain the four wellbeings in the Local Government Act?

How will you…

Enable more sustainable forms of local government funding beyond rates?

Act on the recommendations of the future for local government review?

The results are in

Here what the parties have to say 

Question  Greens  Labour  National 
Retain the four wellbeings in the Local Government Act?   Yes 

National’s vision for Local Government will be focused on delivery of core services while ensuring high value for ratepayers. We are open to changes to enhance local government and have announced policy for this.

We currently do not have policy to amend this section of the Local Government Act in relation to wellbeing. We are committed to working with Local Government for any potential changes to this Act and working with them, not against them.  

How will you enable more sustainable forms of local government funding beyond rates? 

Taxation as a share of GDP has increased but local government’s share has stayed at around 2% of GDP despite its increased responsibilities.

The Green Party supports greater revenue sharing between central and local government, including allocating a portion of GST to local government. Local authorities need new revenue tools such as targeted environmental taxes, congestion charges, resource rentals, and tourism levies.

The recommendations from the Future for Local Government review are a solid basis for working to design a new funding system to help build community wellbeing and tackle complex issues, such as adapting to a changing climate and more extreme weather events.

The Future for Local Government review notes the pressure on rates and these recommendations will be considered in due course after the election. More broadly, we have looked to support councils funding to meet our goals of better infrastructure for New Zealanders.

Our nearly $1billion infrastructure acceleration fund is supporting councils with new infrastructure such as roading, three waters and flood management – to enable new homes to be built in areas of high housing need.

We’re also open to alternative financing and funding tools, like congestion charging but we want to try and reach a bipartisan consensus to create a fair and equitable solution. 

National has already announced several policies in this area, our Going for Housing Growth policy contains a $1B fund for Councils who consent houses and our Local Water Done Well policy will ensure Water Services are on stable financial footing and no longer a liability for Councils.

These will both improve financial stability for Councils.   

How will you act on the recommendations of the future for local government review? 

The Green Party largely supports and would act on the Future for Local Government recommendations, particularly those supported across local government.

We support:
Growing citizen led democracy in communities to enable people to have a more direct involvement in decision-making.

Amending the Local Government Act 2002 to recognise local government explicitly as Te Tiriti o Waitangi partner

Extending the ability to vote to 16-year-olds
shifting to proportional voting systems
having the Electoral Commission administer local elections

Increasing funding by providing local authorities with new revenue tools
working with local government to improve resilience to challenges, including natural disasters.

We see the Future for Local Government review as an ambitious opportunity to future[1]proof local government and to design a sustainable system that delivers enhanced wellbeing outcomes for all communities.

We know that this must be done in a way that ensures Aotearoa's current and future communities continue to thrive. We will respond to the recommendations of the Future of Local Government Review after the election, following the receipt of further input from the local government sector. 

National recognises the challenges the Local Government Sector faces and will look closely at the recommendations that address these issues, particularly those of funding and financing.

We have made clear that we do not support some recommendations, including the lowering of the voting age or the move to unelected members being appointed to councils.