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Local government insights


Jo Smith

Date published

19 February 2020

Download [2.6 MB PDF]

The Productivity Commission has repeatedly been asked to look into areas of local government performance, by successive governments. Five out of our 14 inquiries to date have focused specifically on various aspects of local government regulation, planning and funding. To capture the key learnings, we've collated our recommendations in a short Local government insights report.

This report highlights the key lessons for both local and central government and lays down a challenge to both sectors about what they need to get right, how to do things differently and the benefits of making these changes. 

Read the Local government insights report here.

Authored by: Jo Smith, with Ron Crawford, Principal Advisors at the Productivity Commission.



Understanding New Zealand’s productivity performance

Our research aims to understand New Zealand's productivity performance and the role of policy in lifting productivity. 

Explore our publications below, hear us present at an event or contact us with your productivity questions.

A photo by Richard Clyborne of Music Strive

Productivity growth

The goal of our research is to facilitate a move from an economy that grows by using more “inputs” (such as labour or natural resources), to one where productivity plays a greater role in driving economic growth – essentially, working smarter, with greater financial and knowledge capital employed per worker.

Our research explores a wide range of productivity issues: employment, firm dynamics, technology diffusion, innovation, regional development, spatial and public-sector productivity.

Working together

The commissioning of research and the practice of collaboration with others is important to us. It enables us to access subject/sector specialists and benefit from the cross-promotion of ideas and insights. You will find research from the Commission, as well as research we commissioned, below.

Strengthening learning

Our Economics & Research team is independently evaluated every two years to understand how to improve and enhance our impact. See the latest evaluation report and 2020 survey results here.


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