A Constitution for Aotearoa New Zealand proposes to make local government more open, transparent, and democratic.


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Local authorities – such as the Auckland Council – play important roles in residents’ lives. Not only to they provide infrastructure, they also regulate building, land use, and other activities. But local democracy is often compromised by central government actions. Central government sometimes takes control of local issues, as it has in Canterbury. It frequently changes local government functions and responsibilities, leading to a lack of clarity. And it adds asks local communities to take on additional responsibilities without providing additional funding.

We think a strong and vibrant local democracy requires a democratic, transparent, and accountable system of local government with clear powers and responsibilities. Our proposed constitution aims to achieve that.

You can read more about our views in chapter 9 of A Constitution for Aotearoa New Zealand, or see Part 9 of our proposed constitution.

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New Zealand local authorities lack independence. They’re subject to control by central government.

Sir Geoffrey Palmer

Today, we see central government stepping into local government business more than ever and, in some cases, overriding local decision-making.

Dr Jean Drage