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The Department of Internal Affairs

The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation


Better Local Services


The Better Local Services package enables innovation and collaboration in local government to deliver better local services and infrastructure.

The package supports the Government’s broader programme for building a productive competitive economy and better public services.

Why local government needs new options for better local services

Local government is a critical building block for our national growth and prosperity. Changes in demographics, economy, technology, and environment have created challenges for local government structures and processes designed and created in the 1980s.

Addressing those challenges requires councils to rethink how they approach service provision.

Central government can enable and encourage local government to innovate and collaborate and the Better Local Services package will create new options for doing that.

Better Local Services package

The package creates options for new structures and processes giving more flexibility for improving local government:

  • Councils will have greater flexibility to collaborate to deliver services to their region.
  • New processes for council-led reorganisations rather than a single Local Government Commission-led option.
  • A more proactive role for the Local Government Commission to work with local communities to improve their local government, with checks and balances.

More information

For more detailed information about the Better Local Services reform package see:

Minister's media release

Questions and answers

Information sheets

A3 overview


Cabinet paper

Package summary

Next steps

  • Legislation to enable the Better Local Services package will be introduced mid-2016.
  • The public will have the opportunity to make submissions on the legislation during the select committee process.
  • The legislation could be passed by the end of 2016 so new councils elected later this year will have access to the new options early in their 2016-2019 terms.

Contact us

Email if you have any queries about the Better Local Services reform package.