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Canterbury Mayoral Forum welcomes Future for Local Government Report

The Canterbury Mayoral Forum welcomes today’s final report from the Future for Local Government review panel.

Forum Chair and Timaru Mayor Nigel Bowen says it will take time to absorb the details of the report, but he was pleased to see some of the Forum’s feedback in the document.

“Regardless of the outcome, the Canterbury region has a really strong collaborative relationship, with a history of working together for the betterment of our communities.”

In particular, the Forum looks forward to seeing the report strengthening partnership and increasing collaboration with iwi, along with lifting the focus on localism, local voice and an emphasis on function rather than form.

The Forum also wants to see the report kickstart action to build capacity in the sector and recognise the significance and importance of coherent governance.

When it came to the relationship between central and local government, Forum Chair Bowen wasn’t pulling any punches. “The relationship must change. Currently, over 90 percent of tax take is held by central government while local government has most of the direct interaction with their communities and does a lot of the heavy lifting.

“It’s not just about the money though, it’s about trust. Central government needs to trust that we know our communities best. We need to create a local government sector that genuinely serves our communities.”

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