Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta has addressed the annual gathering of mayors and councillors, calling for improvements in water quality, but shying away from full council amalgamations, as David Williams reports.
Tauranga City and Waikato District councils will tap the central government's housing infrastructure fund to help upgrade local water infrastructure, which Housing Minister Phil Twyford says will speed up residential property developments in those areas.
Developers of multi-storey apartment blocks and hotels will be able to invite in foreign buyers again under changes to the Government's foreign buying ban law. Conveyancers also dodged a bullet and telcos got an exemption, but retirement village operators failed to win the exemption they hoped for. Nikki Mandow looks at the winners and losers in the select committee's changes to the Overseas Investment Amendment bill.
The Whakatāne District Council and Bay of Plenty Regional Council gave Creswell New Zealand a green light to increase its water bottling capacity by 1,825 percent, a move that could create as many as 237 new jobs.
The strains on New Zealand’s water infrastructure were a hot topic at a local government summit this week. Everyone is preparing for change, but concrete decisions from the Government still appear some time away, Sam Sachdeva reports.
The government is actively considering whether the water services currently supplied by local government should be merged into a number of larger jointly owned entities to help both fund and ensure the quality of drinking water, wastewater and stormwater services.
The government wants a better understanding of how local bodies are funding their increasing cost base and infrastructure needs without simply relying on higher rates, and has asked the Productivity Commission to investigate.
A water industry group has questioned why the public is no clearer on how to better manage the resource, six months after the Government took power.
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Local councils are facing a string of daunting challenges, ranging from sea level rise to massive infrastructure bills. Shane Cowlishaw explores how their relationship with the new Government will be integral in how they handle those challenges.