What You Might Not Know About LGNZ

What You Might Not Know About LGNZ

Published On: 6 September 2022| Categories: Editorial| 1.5 min read|

By Jaspreet Boparai

  1. LGNZ or Local Government New Zealand (www.lgnz.co.nz) is the lobby body for our councils with the remit to be the voice of local government in Wellington.
  2. Councils pay an annual subscription fee for their membership of LGNZ, depending on the population – usually in the tens of thousands of dollars.
  3. Nationally, nearly $4 million of ratepayers’ funds go towards the annual LGNZ membership charges. (https://www.lgnz.co.nz/assets/Annual-Report/Annual-Report-2021-2022.pdf)
  4. LGNZ signed a Heads of agreement with the Crown in 2021 – “Partnering Commitment towards the Delivery of the Three Waters Reforms”, essentially drowning out local voices that pay millions for the privilege of its membership. (https://www.dia.govt.nz/diawebsite.nsf/Files/Three-waters-reform-programme/$file/heads-of-agreement-partnering-commitment-to-support-three-waters-service-delivery-reform.pdf)
  5. In 2015, LGNZ’s position paper on 3 waters concluded that -” the sector is not fundamentally broken – with services confirmed to be reliably delivered at reasonable cost. This suggests that full-blown economic regulation of the sector is unnecessary, and the costs seen in other sectors regulated this way would likely outweigh the benefits of change.” (https://www.lgnz.co.nz/assets/2aa82f85f1/29617-three-Waters-Position-Paper.pdf)
  6. In contrast to its 2015 position on 3 Waters, in 2021 , LGNZ decided that ” full blown economic regulation” was the answer . Before any consultation with communities, LGNZ signed off a MOU with the government :” LGNZ considers: (a) the Three Waters Reform Programme is in the national interest of local government and the communities that it represents;”
  7. Councils have begun expressing their displeasure with LGNZ – some by withholding part of their annual LGNZ fees and others by exiting LGNZ altogether like the Timaru District Council. (https://www.stuff.co.nz/timaru-herald/news/126525280/timaru-council-votes-to-leave-local-government-new-zealand)
  8. Over 30 councils have set up an alternative to the reforms supported by LGNZ – Communities 4 Local Democracy. (https://www.communities4localdemocracy.co.nz/about)

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