Latest posts

Localism

The benefits of going local

It is high time we brought policy-making closer to local communities. Let's follow the British example and end the love affair with centralised control. Let's allow local councils to take charge of their own matters. [...]

Zoned in

What if New Zealand's towns and cities had the freedom to deviate from national legislation? [...]

Britain’s localist revolution

George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, delivered nothing short of a revolution to the way that Britain is governed. A radical devolution of power and money from central government in London to the cities of the UK has begun. [...]

Incentives trump all else

Imagine if both local and central government tax revenues reflected economic performance more directly. Under such a system, we would see a different attitude of local communities to a range of activities from mining to housing. [...]

Lernen von Schweiz und Schwyz

Aus schweizerischer Sicht kann man sich wohl kaum vorstellen, wie faszinierend, spannend und attraktiv die kleinteilige politische Gliederung des Landes in der Aussensicht erscheint – und dass man sich im Ausland durchaus für die Arbeit der Schweizer Kantone und Gemeinden interessieren, ja begeistern kann. [...]

Learning from Switzerland and Schwyz

From a Swiss point of view, it must be hard to imagine how fascinating, thrilling and attractive the small-scale political structure of the country appears from the outside – and that foreigners looking at Switzerland may find the workings of Swiss cantons and councils interesting or even inspiring. [...]

Culture of co-operation makes more sense than amalgamation

By amalgamating all Wellington councils, there are few efficiencies to gain but a lot of local autonomy and diversity to lose. To realise some limited network effects, we should encourage better co-operation between neighbouring councils – without forcing them to merge. [...]

Incentives to grow

We need a local government finance system that rewards councils that go for growth and punishes those that inhibit development. Our current rates system achieves the opposite – and that is what is wrong with rates. [...]