PM to attend conference

Up to 600 delegates from city, regional and district councils will gather in Queenstown next month for the 2012 Local Government New Zealand conference.

This year's conference had been scheduled to be held in Christchurch but as no suitable venue was available, Queenstown was chosen to host the three-day event, which would be split between the Millennium and the Copthorne hotels.

Prime Minister John Key and Queenstown Lakes mayor Vanessa van Uden will officially open the conference, which begins on July 15, with speakers to include Sir Graham Henry, Martin Sneddon, of the Tourism Industry Association, and Queenstown businessman Sir Eion Edgar.

Ms van Uden said it was likely two elected councillors, as well as herself, would attend on behalf of the council, with other authorities usually sending their mayors, chief executives and up to five councillors.

As part of the conference the Queenstown Lakes District Council would be hosting "technical tours", focusing on affordable housing, council-controlled organisations and council-community partnerships. T

he tours were a traditional part of the conference, but this year the council - as host for the event - decided to move away from site visits to developments.

"We looked at some of the things we do a bit differently, or things we deal with that are maybe not things other local authorities have.

"Like affordable housing.

"We'll also be looking at some of the tourism effects, how we work together, and CCOs [council-controlled organisations].

"Though every local authority has them ... I thought it was a really good time to have a panel discussion and use that time for people to have a chat about what works well and what doesn't work well.

"If you're using time ... then it's really cool to make it something that gives people a chance to talk."


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