New Associate Minister for Local Government Kieran McAnulty begins a series of visits to all 55 rural and provincial councils across the motu

Kieran McAnulty, the new Associate Minister for Local Government, begins a tour of the motu’s 55 rural and provincial councils today.

“Local government plays a crucial role in our democratic system, ensuring people have a voice in directing their community,” said Kieran McAnulty.

“Each local council is distinct and in taking on the role of Associate Minister for Local Government, with a particular focus on regional issues, I believe it is important that I connect with each, to hear directly the particular issues facing their communities and support in areas of potential progress and growth.

“I understand the challenges faced by rural councils and communities, which often include lower rate bases, rate pressures, housing pressures and an increase in climate-related natural disasters.

“There are also big projects underway at all levels that the government has been working hard on, and I look forward to continuing that work.

“This is the first time we have had a minister with delegations in local government, transport and emergency management, which are portfolios with a huge impact on local councils. Meeting with all the rural and provincial councils will give me the opportunity to make connections between 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 for me to make the effort as soon as possible to meet with all rural and provincial councils.

“These visits are an opportunity for me to listen to rural and provincial councils and to continue the work of my colleagues who engage with rural New Zealand,” said Minister McAnulty.

Prior to the municipal elections in early October, Minister McAnulty will meet with all 55 councils. Over the next week, the journey will begin with Waimakariri, Hurunui, Selwyn, Horowhenua, Kpiti Coast, Western Bay of Plenty and Whakatne District Councils.

The week of July 11, he will then meet with councils in Southland, Otago, Gisborne, Wairoa, Central Hawke’s Bay, Tararua District and Wairarapa.

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