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Amalgamation in New Zealand: an unfinished story?

Author: MIKE REID
Published in PFM, Vol. 13 No. 3

In common with much of the world, local government discourse in New Zealand is, and has been for much of the sector’s existence, dominated by the issue of numbers and scale. Local governments, which developed to provide public services to often small, emerging communities in the early stages of the country’s colonial development, continue to be challenged to enhance capacity and improve efficiency - themes that resonate acutely as the country continues to deal with the fall out of the great financial crisis. Facing yet another period of structural reform the trade-off between size and responsiveness, or efficiency and democracy, is still to be satisfactorily resolved.

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