Seeking certainty from central govt

As the new government nears its deadline for its ambitious 100-day plan, it’s been quite a whirlwind start for Parliament and despite some controversy, it’s been an impressive beginning to the triennium.

The 100-day target, largely an American tradition, has become a litmus test for newcomers to politics like myself, to see if they can truly fulfil the promises made during the campaign trail.

It’s an important milestone that reveals how much can realistically be accomplished in just three months.

However, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and his party have turned this into something else entirely, using this target and their 49 priorities as a manifesto to push every last bit out of their ministers.

Regardless of your political stance, it’s hard to deny the progress made in such a short time.

But the question remains: does speed and confidence in achieving deliverables actually lead to better outcomes for New Zealand?

The answer to that will take far longer than 100 days.

For local government, while it’s encouraging to see the repeal of Three Waters and RMA, it ultimately transitions us from a state of uncertainty to a state of certain uncertainty.

Most, if not all, of these repeals lack concrete solutions or timeframes.

The repeal was the goal, and the solution is something we’ll have to wait 12-18 months for.

What does this mean for your local council as we approach a long-term plan year?

Long-term uncertainty.

Councils continue to forge ahead regardless of the fluctuations from Wellington, making decisions based on what’s on the table.

Last year, Three Waters was gone; this year, it’s back.

Sadly, this means ratepayers across the country will likely need to use their promised tax cuts to cover rate hikes.

Like government departments, councils will be tightening their belts and trimming any "fluff", but there’s no longer any room to underfund critical infrastructure. We must fund the basics.

For places like Gore, those basics are becoming increasingly unaffordable and without diversification of funding sources, the future is bleak.

So, what am I hoping for in the next 100 days?

A genuine commitment to following through on the promises of localism, devolving power into the regions, and providing the actual capability and capacity to maintain the assets that we own.

This won’t be achieved in 100 days but will be an important step in the right direction to give our ratepayers the certainty they deserve.