Community policing gets backing

By Victoria White

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LGNZ President  Lawrence Yule.
LGNZ President Lawrence Yule.

Community policing may receive a boost, after a remit asking the Government for more resource allocation became part of official Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) policy at its AGM.

The AGM was part of the three-day LGNZ Conference 2016, which finishes in Dunedin today.

LGNZ President and Hastings District mayor Lawrence Yule said that, with more than 600 delegates in attendance, it had been highly successful and a prime opportunity for showing best practice in local government.

At Sunday's AGM the two remits from Hastings District Council - which requested government assistance with community policing, and earthquake strengthening of public heritage buildings - both received 95 per cent support. The remits now become the official policy of LGNZ and would be lobbied on accordingly, Mr Yule said. "I'm thrilled," he said. "It was supported by other councils, and people could see the sense in what we're arguing for."

Changes to the Local Government Act were also discussed on Sunday, with Mr Yule saying the change which allowed the Local Government commission to "effectively force" council-controlled organisations on councils to deal with roading and water, without community decision making had been an "element of tension".

Yesterday's programme of events had been "inspirational", with speeches around best practice in the creative community, including how communities could market themselves, and more innovative uses of new technologies.

The 2050 Challenge: future proofing our communities discussion paper launched yesterday was also an "inspirational piece of work", Mr Yule said. Sparked by the Young Elected Members committee of New Zealand councillors, the paper aimed to identify the major shifts taking place in New Zealand and better understand the implications for local and central government.

The challenges have so far been grouped into five major themes - urbanisation, liveable cities and changing demographics; stewardship of our natural environment; responding to climate change; equality and cohesion; and the future of work.

Before the conference ends this afternoon, Mr Yule will unveil local government's policy position on a fit-for-purpose resource management system.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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