Local Government Foresight 2010

  • Tony Ryall
Local Government

Local Government Foresight 2010, a discussion document intended to stimulate thought and debate on the future of local government in New Zealand, was launched today at Parliament by the Minister of Local Government Tony Ryall.

"The Government wants to hear the views of the local government sector. The Local Government Foresight 2010 discussion document has been written to stimulate debate on our system of local government and the way local government services are delivered over the next decade," Mr Ryall said.

"Local Government Foresight 2010 is not Government policy, nor is it an indication of preferred directions.

"What happens in local government affects every New Zealander. In the spirit of the Foresight Project, we are working with local government organisations to shape our thinking about the future role of local government and its relationship with central government."

Local Government Foresight 2010 has been jointly developed by the Department of Internal Affairs, Local Government New Zealand and the Society of Local Government Managers (SOLGM). The discussion document is part of the broader Foresight Project led by the Minister of Research Science and Technology.

The Local Government Foresight 2010 document brings together the possible effects on the local government sector of so called mega-trends such as globalisation, the knowledge revolution, new technologies and changing consumer markets.

It contains three possible scenarios for people interested in the future of their communities to consider.

The Local Government Foresight 2010 scenarios are not Government policy, nor local government policy.

The first, dubbed 'Muddling Along', describes the consequences of approaching future issues in an evolutionary, rather than revolutionary way.

The second, 'Lean and Competitive' describes a period of economic difficulty followed by rapid adaptation to keep up with the technological and global political changes expected in the early 21st century.

The third scenario, 'Governance for Citizens' focuses on New Zealand's character and how it can be turned to our economic, political and social advantage.

Local authorities throughout New Zealand have been invited to appoint local representatives for the Local Government Foresight 2010 strategy. Their task will be to meet with local organisations and community groups, to stimulate discussion at a grass roots level and encourage feedback.