New Zealand local government expert visits UNE Centre

Published 27 October 2008

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A leading authority on New Zealand local government visited the University of New England last week to discuss research collaboration with UNE’s Centre for Local Government.

Mike Reid is the Governance Manager of Local Government New Zealand, an organisation that provides policy, advice and training to local government councils throughout New Zealand. His discussions with the Director of the UNE Centre, Professor Brian Dollery, and its Deputy Director, Bligh Grant, centred on issues of local government sustainability.

Professor Dollery, a widely published authority on Australian local government finance and reform, said: “The UNE Centre for Local Government has been collaborating for some time with Local Government New Zealand in general – and Mike Reid in particular – on various questions in contemporary local government. There are great similarities between the local government systems of Australia and New Zealand, and so there is much that can be gained through a comparative analysis.

“Mike has an unparalleled knowledge of local government reform in New   Zealand and we are delighted and privileged that he has been able to visit us in Armidale. He and I are in the process of developing a framework for an edited book on sustainability in local government that considers not only financial sustainability, but also other aspects of the problem such as the sustainability of local communities and environments.

“Mike has already contributed chapters on New Zealand local government reform to two of our most recent books. One of these, Local Government Reform: A Comparative Analysis of Advanced Anglo-American Countries (edited by myself, Joseph Garcea and Edward LeSage), was published in July 2008, and another is forthcoming.”

THE PHOTOGRAPH published here, showing Professor Brian Dollery (left) with Mike Reid, expands to include Bligh Grant, Deputy Director of the UNE Centre for Local Government.