Kieran McAnulty, the new Associate Minister of Local Government, is starting a tour of all 55 rural and provincial councils across the motu today.
“Local government plays a crucial role in our democratic system, ensuring people have a voice in the leadership of their community,” Kieran McAnulty said.
“Each local council is distinct and in taking on the role of Associate Minister of Local Government, with a particular focus on regional issues, I believe it’s important I connect with each one, to hear directly about the particular issues facing their communities, and support them in areas of potential progress and growth.
“I understand the challenges that rural councils and communities face, which often include lower rating bases, rates pressures, housing pressures and an increase in climate related natural disasters.
“There are also big projects happening across the board which the Government has been working hard on, and I’m keen to continue that work.
“This is the first time we’ve had a Minister with delegations across Local Government, Transport, and Emergency Management, which are portfolios with a considerable impact on local councils. Meeting with all rural and provincial councils will provide an opportunity for me to make connections across these portfolios from a local government perspective.
“As a Government we are committed to collaborating and working constructively with local councils and so it was important to me to make the effort as early as possible to meet all the rural and provincial councils.
“These visits are a chance for me to listen to the rural and provincial councils, and continue the work of my colleagues of engaging with rural New Zealand,” Minister McAnulty said.
Prior to the local government elections in early October, Minister McAnulty will meet with all 55 councils. Over the course of the following week, the trip will begin with the district councils of Waimakariri, Hurunui, Selwyn, Horowhenua, Kpiti Coast, Western Bay of Plenty, and Whakatne.
On the week of July 11, he will then meet with councils in Southland, Otago, Gisborne, Wairoa, Central Hawke’s Bay, the Tararua District, and Wairarapa.