Bridging the gap

The incoming government presents a unique opportunity to reshape the dynamics between central and local government, and address New Zealand’s significant infrastructure deficit.

Through our work with both local and central government organisations, we are increasingly seeing wide gaps between the two sectors, with impacts being felt across the country. Significant funding and resources are provided at the Central Government level, however local government is where the rubber hits the road (often literally) and many councils across New Zealand are facing large funding challenges just to keep the lights on and the water flowing.

We know the pressures and constraints faced at the local government level. At the same time, we understand the machinery of government and the processes required to get investment from the idea stage right through to Budget bids and approvals at a national level.

We’re not the only ones who understand this challenge. Infrastructure New Zealand’s latest policy position, ‘City and Regional Deals - Laying the Foundations for Partnership’, underscores the potential of city deals as a catalyst for devolution and a solution to the pressing need to accelerate infrastructure development across the country.

Rationale’s position within local and central government allows us to leverage our influence and expertise to advocate for mechanisms such as earn back, user pays charges, and GST sharing on housing developments. These mechanisms can help rectify the existing imbalance between different levels of government. At the same time we can speak the language of both sectors of the public service, ensuring we can catalyse change and investment, ensuring value for money for national taxpayers and local ratepayers alike.

The responsibility now lies with the incoming administration to close the gap between ‘local and central’ – a key part of this is developing the concept of City and Regional deals into a nationally coherent plan. They must provide the necessary oversight, coordination, and expertise to ensure successful delivery. We are ready to support this process with our knowledge and experience in making informed investment decisions and improving places for people.

At Rationale, we are guided by our values of integrity, whānau, balance, and challenge. We see every challenge as an opportunity and thrive on tackling tough issues. We are confident that, together, we can navigate through the challenges that come with solving big problems or realising big aspirations, and create a better world by improving the places we live, work, and play.