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City Deals Can Rebalance Central And Local Government Relationships Over Infrastructure



The incoming Government has the opportunity to rebalance
the relationship between central and local government and
address New Zealand’s massive infrastructure deficit by
adopting city and regional deals.

New Zealand sees city and regional deals as fostering much
more positive collaboration between central and local
government and providing local authorities with greater
input when prioritising infrastructure needs and addressing
the challenges of their communities,” says Infrastructure
New Zealand Chief Executive Nick Leggett, himself a former
Mayor of Porirua.

“There is an enormous opportunity
to build delivery capability in regional and local

“It is clear that the incoming
government has been elected with a strong mandate to devolve
decision-making back to local communities. Couple this with
the pressing need to accelerate infrastructure development
nationwide, and city and regional deals could provide the
means by which these challenges can be met through better
partnerships and more opportunities for sustainable funding.
Central government’s role will be to develop these deals
into a nationally coherent plan and provide the necessary
oversight, coordination and expertise to help

“Councils should benefit far more from
the economic growth they’re helping create and that their
communities are paying for,” Leggett says. “At present
we have a lopsided model where the benefits of economic
development mostly go to central government while local
government bears most of the cost.”

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“Earn back
mechanisms, user pays charges and GST sharing on housing
developments should all be on the table to address this

The introduction of new funding and
financing tools alongside the improved use of existing
funding mechanisms is also required to achieve the
investment needed to accelerate the development of
infrastructure in our cities and regions.

“It is
important to get all the important partners in the same
room. Along with central and local Government, iwi and the
private sector must be at the table right from the start,”
Leggett says.

“City and regional deals fundamentally
allow central and local governments to play to their
strengths and establish long term partnerships that deliver
the infrastructure improvements communities need in a
nationally coordinated and financially sustainable way. We
need to see these deals established properly, taking the
right time and recognising its less about “wish lists”
and more about success over the long term. Think ten to
fifteen years.”

City and Regional Deals – Laying
the Foundations for Partnership
is a new position paper
released by Infrastructure New Zealand and is available at

New Zealand is the peak body for New Zealand’s
infrastructure sector and comprises a diverse membership,
including government agencies, consultants, contractors,
financiers, utilities, and academics, all united in their
commitment to creating a better New Zealand through

© Scoop Media

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