Commonwealth Local Government Forum

Pacific \ Local government service delivery

Equitable and efficient service delivery is at the heart of local government’s mandate. The resources in this section focus on the management and delivery of key strategic, corporate and technical services, ranging from those for which local government has direct responsibility, to shared service provision, and services for which local government is a partner.


Reflections on the Local Government (Community Well-Being) Amendment Bill

Measuring Local Well-being: reflections on the Local Government (Community Well-Being) Amendment Bill. The Local Government (Community Well-being) Amendment Bill is designed to provide local authorities with greater legal freedom to make investments that will raise the well-being of their local community. The legislation is predicated on the assumption that people’s well-being is influenced by their local context. In order to identify the influence of changes in context generated by local investments, it is necessary to recognise that individuals differ in many ways and that the impact of any given investment can vary substantially from one person to the next. Indicators based on collections of individuals miss much of that variation. It is also necessary to recognise the variety of ways well-being can be measured. This short article raises both these issues by exploring three measures of well-being currently available on the 2018 Quality of Life survey.

Author: Philip S. Morrison Publisher: Policy Quarterly Publication year: 2019

Well-being at the Local Level

The Institute for Governance and Policy Studies, in partnership with Victoria University of Wellington’s Health and Wellbeing distinctiveness theme steering group, hosted a symposium on ‘The Four Wellbeings for Local Government’ on 26 February 2019. The symposium heard brief presentations from eight invitees from local government, central government, the private sector and NGOs: Justin Lester, Lyn Patterson, Karen Thomas, Peter McKinlay, Wayne Mulligan, Meg Williams, Danielle Shanahan and Suzy Morrissey. Inspired by these addresses and by the ensuing discussion, this article considers what the reintroduction of the ‘four well-beings’ into the Local Government Act might mean for local decision making.

Author: Arthur Grimes Publisher: Policy Quarterly Publication year: 2019

Where are the Locals?

Localism is about citizens, not town halls. It engages, encourages and empowers citizens and their formal, semi-formal and informal groupings, street level to citywide, including not-for-profits. To be effective and constructive, citizen-centric localism needs to be bottom-up, not just top-down, driven by iterative interaction to fashion thought-through decisions. Digital technology enables this in ways not possible a decade ago. Local councils are the right level of government to develop and refine that interaction and thereby revitalise local – and in time national – democracy.

Author: Colin James Publisher: Policy Quarterly Publication year: 2019

Local Government Benchmarking

he various facets of “measurement,” “comparison,” “evaluation,” and “monitoring” of government performance stubbornly continue to be topics of international relevance. Within this context, debates focusing on the subnational level of governance have been claiming more and more space in the academic and policy arenas. The extra attention given to the “local” is easier to explain. The decisions and actions of local executives have a very real and immediate impact on people’s lives. Local governments are the closest link to the State for the majority of the world population. They are responsible for crucial policy sectors such as spatial planning, transport, and utility services and are also the enablers of many social and cultural activities (LSE Cities 2016). While most people already lives in cities, urbanization trends will continue to put strain, but also relevance, on local government institutions around the globe. In fact, the decentralization of powers from nation states to local governments can currently be observed across jurisdictions.

Author: Nuno F. da Cruz Publisher: Global Encyclopedia of Public Administration, Public Policy, and Governance Publication year: 2016

BOOK REVIEW: The Theory and Practice of Local Government Reform

Structural reform has been one of the most important and hotly contested features of modern local government. From North America to Europe to Australasia, local government boundaries have been redrawn over the last two decades. In many countries it seems that structural change has been the ‘default’ option to which successive generations of policy makers are irresistibly drawn time and time again. And yet the reasons for the extraordinary popularity of this particular policy instrument and, more importantly, its impacts are under-researched. There is a dearth of rigorous empirical analysis of the costs and benefits and the relative effectiveness of different kinds of structural change and different approaches to implementing them. The Theory and Practice of Local Government Reform, edited by Brian E. Dollery and Lorenzo Robotti, is then a very welcome attempt to address these issues in comprehensive and comparative fashion, which draws upon expert knowledge of recent developments from across an impressive range of different countries and contexts.

Author: Steve Martin Publisher: Commonwealth Journal of Local Governance Publication year: 2009

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