Central-local government relations

Working paper

Scope and funding of local government: an international comparison

The scope of local government in New Zealand and its sources of revenue (mainly property taxes) are much more constrained than in most other high-income countries. This paper compares New Zealand with other high-income countries in the distribution of functions across central and local government...

Place-based governance and local democracy: will Australian local government deliver?

This report explores the case for, and ways to promote, effective place-based governance and local democracy as vital elements of Australia’s federal system. It is in response to trends such as declining levels of trust in governments and politicians, the inability of ‘big government’ to...
Draft report

Local government funding and financing

This draft report makes 30 recommendations to deal with the evident stresses in local government funding and financing, and to better align council and ratepayer interests.

Design, implementation and monitoring of reforms to services on Norfolk Island

The objective of the audit was to assess whether the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities had designed and implemented appropriate governance and administration arrangements for the transition and delivery of sustainable reforms to services on Norfolk Island.

Through thick and thin: improving policy in Australia’s regions

This report argues that as many of the issues relevant to regions span federal, state and local government, such bodies should have a federal remit. They should then work with governments at all levels and other stakeholders, including users and the general public, to make...
Briefing paper

Local government role and autonomy

This paper continues the conversation about localism in New Zealand, and considers the degree of autonomy from central government that local government has in undertaking its role.
Briefing paper

To enshrine and define local government once and for all

This paper discusses New Zealand's centralised political system, and considers what this means for local government reform.

#localismNZ: bringing power to the people

This publication explains the rationale behind localism and responds to commonly heard objections. It explains how unusual New Zealand's centralism is when compared internationally. New Zealand's councils have limited fiscal autonomy. Their mandate is also much more restricted that local government in other parts of...
Policy report

All politics is local: 12 ways to deliver for Australian communities

The policy initiatives outlined in this document will provide every council and federal member with the opportunity to deliver tangible outcomes to every community in Australia.

Best practice guidelines for compliance, monitoring and enforcement under the Resource Management Act 1991

These guidelines will help councils with their compliance, monitoring and enforcement (CME) responsibilities under the Resource Management Act.