On 4 March Chief Executive Karen Thomas and Chief Advisor Raymond Horan appeared at the Governance and Administration Select Committee to discuss our submission on the Public Service Legislation Bill.  This is the Bill that reforms the legislation governing the public service alongside last year’s establishment of the so-called regional leads.

We made the case for stronger linkages between the public service and the local government workforces through the establishment of a joint local government/central government workforce forum.  We also joined with LGNZ in calling for placing the State Services Commissioner under an obligation to foster effective engagement with the local government sector.

Having now been heard, our submission can be found here.

We’ve been invited to the Health Select Committee to discuss our submission on Taumata Arowai – the Water Services Regulator Bill.   This is the Bill that establishes Taumata Arowai as the so-called independent drinking water.  Those who read our draft submission will know that SOLGM supported the establishment of the drinking water regulator in principle. 

However, the Bill does not make sufficient provision for the perspectives of the providers of drinking water, either in its governance or in the requirements around engagement.  We also noted the Bill doesn’t appear to fully implement the Cabinet decision that Taumata Arowai would have statutory independence in its compliance, monitoring and enforcement activities.

We will release our final submission soon after we’ve been heard.

We expect the ‘second’ water bill, tentatively entitled the Water Services Bill at some point in June. That means the relevant Committee would call for submissions, but won’t hear them before Parliament rises for the general election on 6 August.  

We’re waiting to hear whether Select Committees want us to appear to discuss the Urban Development Bill and the Infrastructure Funding and Financing Bill.  The common feature of these two pieces of legislation is that it allows third parties access to the rating system (alongside the FENZ Funding review). This is one of the key points we make in both submission and have also made to the FENZ review which can be found here.

You may also have seen our recent media comments about the competition for skills in occupations such as building inspection which are at: 

https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/2018734121/kainga-ora-accused-of-poaching-council-staff

We’ve also recently submitted to the Justice Committee Inquiry into Local Elections.