Interesting reading

This section includes all sorts of articles, presentations, and blogs from New Zealand and overseas that take a look at local government and where it's going in the future.

Monitoring Report

February 2019

This report departs a little from our normal practice for monitoring reports. Instead of reporting on a specific event, events or reports, it’s a reflection on the significance of governance within local government. We are doing this because it’s becoming very clear that governance in its different manifestations is going to be critical for a number of the major choices which the local government sector as a whole and individual councils will face over the next few years.

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Monitoring Report

December 2018

In this issue, instead of reporting on one or more specific policy developments of relevance for local government, we consider the major influences which we expect to see shape the local government sector over the next few years and both the opportunities and threats these influences present for the sector as a whole and for individual councils.

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Monitoring Report

November 2018

This monitoring report considers two very different but significant approaches to understanding the nature of local governance and community involvement. The first is the recently released cabinet paper on “Local Governance for Community Well-being” and the second is the November 2018 report of the UK-based network Civil Society Futures “Civil Society in England: its current state and future opportunity”.

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The Future of Work, Inclusive Growth, Well-being And the EDA Opportunity

October 2018

The think tank's plenary presentation to Economic Development New Zealand's annual conference positioned economic development agencies at the centre of New Zealand's economic and social development - picking up the opportunity to drive an inclusive growth agenda as outlined in the presentation slides below. One initiative resulting directly from that presentation will be a March 2019 conference on inclusive growth promoted jointly by the think tank, Economic Development New Zealand and the Royal Society for the Arts Australasian arm. It is intended the conference will result in the establishment of a New Zealand based network committed to developing and implementing an inclusive growth agenda.

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The think tank at the SOLGM conference: Well-being as the great disruptor

October 2018

The think tank presentation to this year's SOLGM conference argued that the government's various well-being initiatives would necessarily lead to a fundamental change in how central government works with local government, and local government works with its communities. We drew extensively on international experience with well-being and community governance to make the argument that restoring promoting community well-being to the Local Government Act was not just a nice comfort blanket, but a fundamental shift. Much of this is set out in the presentation slides which follow.

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State Sector Act Review

October 2018

Government is reviewing the State Sector Act. The think tank submission argues that the review needs a rethink. The consultation document identifies a number of problems and for each problem suggests the solution is further centralisation under the effective control of the State Services Commission. The think tank argues for a very different approach: that the review should start by considering what are the governance needs of New Zealand's communities - shifting away from a centralised top-down approach to much more of a bottom-up community involvement approach.

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Monitoring Report

October 2018

This monitoring report focuses on three activities which the think tank has been directly involved with over the past month. They are: • A submission on the review of the State Sector Act. • A plenary presentation to the annual conference of Economic Development New Zealand on the theme The Future of Work, Inclusive Growth, Well-being and the EDA Opportunity. • Leading an initiative expected to result in a New Zealand based inclusive growth network.

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Monitoring Report

September 2018

This monitoring report considers the implications of the proposals which have been put forward by the Minister of State Services, with the support of the State Services Commission, for a review of the State Services Act.

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Monitoring Report

August 2018

This monitoring report identifies significant opportunities for the local government sector in New Zealand, and the think tank in particular, in building on international experience in the development and application of well-being practice.

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Development and implementation of well-being plans

July 2018

This month’s monitoring report returns to the question of what role local government should play in facilitating community input into the description and measurement of well-being.

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Monetising goodwill and enabling city growth

June 2018

This month’s monitoring report considers two recently released pieces of work both of which have some very interesting implications for how to think about local government funding and governance.

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Promoting community well-being

May 2018

This month’s monitoring report considers the implications for two provisions in the present local government act of the proposed amendment to the purpose of local government to include promoting community well-being.

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March 2018 monitoring report

For the March monitoring report our focus is on funding, not just funding of council expenditure but rather funding of the different services which communities expect to receive from the public sector whether central government or local government.

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February 2018 monitoring report

Local government is becoming more confident the new government is quite genuine with its expressed intention of wishing to see a much more collaborative working relationship between central government and local government.

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Social procurement

April 2018

The focus of this month’s monitoring report is on social procurement.

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January 2018 Monitoring Report

January 2018

The focus of this report is on the implications of the new government’s commitment to reintroduce the four well beings to the local government act, possibly within the local government amendment Bill which is currently before the house.

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Monitoring Report - November 2017

November 2017

This month the monitoring report looks at a number of recent developments in the ongoing debate about the structure of local government. With a new government in place, unfinished business with the Local Government Amendment Bill, and some signs of a different approach to working at a community level, it’s reasonable to expect fresh attention and possibly fresh insight into what constitutes ‘fit for purpose’ local government and local governance for New Zealand.

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Monitoring Report - October 2017

October 2017

This month’s report considers recent work on local economic development drawing first on a New Economics Foundation report, Social Care as a Local Economic Solution for the West Midlands and then on a new website jointly established by the New Economics Foundation and the Centre for Local Economic Strategies, Good Local Economies.

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Future Trends in Community Governance

September 2017

A presentation made to the 2017 SOLGM Summit held in Rotorua.

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Monitoring Report - July 2017

July 2017

This monitoring report focuses on community collaboration and household incomes and poverty.

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Monitoring Report - June 2017

June 2017

This month's monitoring report looks at three separate areas; lessons for New Zealand local government from the Grenfell Tower disaster, a four years on appraisal of the performance of the Cooperative Councils Innovation Network and recent work on the role of cities.

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Monitoring Report - May 2017

May 2017

This month's monitoring report considers three examples of commercial initiatives intended to serve both a business and a social purpose.

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The 21st Century Councillor

July 2016

This report reflects on the roles that councillors are playing, or recognise that they will need to be playing, within their organisations and localities. This research builds on the successful 21st century public servant project (2013) and the University of Birmingham Policy Commission (2011) into the Future of Local Public Services.

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A Changemaking Vision for Local Government

September 2017

There is an increasingly widespread view within the sector that radical reinvention is required if councils are to meet the many complex challenges they face over coming years. There is also a growing consensus that this needs to happen whether central government actively supports such change or not. This essay looks at the major shift that is required within local government towards raising social impact.

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The 21st Century Public Servant

2013

What does it mean to be a 21st Century public servant? What are the skills, attributes and values which effective public servants will display in the future? How can people working in public services be supported to get those skills? These are some of the issues that we are addressing in this research. The research project is funded by a Knowledge Exchange grant from the Economic and Social Research Council. The University of Birmingham and Birmingham City Council are partners in the research.

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Rethinking the Role of Local Government

October 2016

This paper covers provides discussion around recent local government reforms, the pressures for change within government and our communities, and the future positioning of local government.

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Local Democracy Today and Tomorrow

November 2014

The focus of this paper is on the emergence of non-traditional participants seeking to engage with communities through local governance processes.

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