Local Government

Labour will continue to support local government to deliver better public services and infrastructure, while restoring our environment. Following COVID, local government will play a vital role in the economic recovery of our communities.

Labour’s plan

Labour is already rolling out our plan to invest in communities, create jobs and support New Zealanders to lead our economic recovery. That’s why we've:

  • Funded projects to create almost 11,000 nature-based jobs, supporting local councils and iwi across the country
  • Invested $761 million to assist local government to upgrade water services, kick-starting much needed work to bring our drinking , waste and stormwater infrastructure up to scratch
  • Established the Infrastructure Reference Group to work with local government to seek bids for infrastructure projects
  • Boosted investment to support the Central-Local Government Partnership Group, allowing work to continue on local government reform programmes, and supporting the development and implementation of a Local Government Recovery Plan

Labour’s achievements to date

Before the COVID crisis

We delivered on our commitment to restore local democracy to Cantabrians. The 2019 election was the first in almost a decade where there was a fully democratic election for Environment Canterbury.

  • Agreed to a 10 year, fully funded partnership with Auckland Council to upgrade Auckland’s transport network under the Auckland Transport Alignment Project (ATAP), after the previous government left budget holes in the billions
  • Reinserted the four wellbeings into the Local Government Act, acknowledging the role local leadership has in promoting the social, economic, environmental and cultural wellbeing of communities
  • Started powering up council and community involvement, exploring opportunities to increase local government involvement in the design and targeting of public services, finding innovative ways of conducting community participation and building capability to support it, and developing a more meaningful relationship with Māori.

Since we came into Government, we’ve also:

  • Created a dedicated drinking water regulator to oversee our entire drinking water system, helping to prevent tragedies like the Havelock North campylobacter outbreak, and ensuring communities have access to safe drinking water
  • Increased the Rates Rebate Scheme which will help to ensure many low-income New Zealanders are able to pay their rates demands
  • Started overhauling the resource management system, because it takes too long, costs too much and hasn’t properly protected our environment
  • Worked to establish a new way of funding and financing housing infrastructure, through the Infrastructure Funding and Financing Bill, which recently made its way through the House and sets up a flexible legislative framework that will enable councils and developers to overcome Council debt limits
  • Announced a new toolkit to support councils to identify, protect, manage and restore our indigenous biodiversity