The Local Government and Environment Ministries have been very busy lately, proposing and introducing a range of legislative amendments to key pieces of legislation. As discussed in more detail below and in recent newsletters, amendments to the Maritime Transport Act, EEZ Act and Crown Minerals Act, as well as to the RMA and Local Government Act, reveal a government that is trying to think about how best to build a more competitive and productive economy, while also keeping a close eye on the role of local government in the use and management of resources.
The push for reform is not over yet, either: more substantive amendments to the RMA are expected later this year and again in 2013, and further reform is expected to the LGA next year. As discussed below, a Local Infrastructure Group has just been set up to advise the Government on reducing the cost of quality local government infrastructure, and earlier this year, a Taskforce was announced by the Minister for Local Government to advise on how to build greater efficiency within the local government framework. The Productivity Commission has also been looking closely at local government and the use of resources, through their inquiries into local government regulation, and affordable housing.
It is easy to get consultation fatigue, but key stakeholders risk missing the boat on some fundamental issues if they ignore the opportunities to get involved. Fail to "watch the space" at your peril.