Author: Suzi Kerr
Many past and potential New Zealand reforms involve significant devolution, i.e. the transfer of authority to make decisions on behalf of society from a higher to a lower level of government. In particular the Resource Management Act (RMA), the health and education reforms, and decisions about the institutions for addressing Maori issues have led to significant devolution of authority. Employment policy and social welfare are areas where devolution is an important policy option. The role and function of local government also is inherently an issue of the appropriate level of devolution. Many of these reforms have now been in place for a number of years, so it is appropriate to review our experience of devolution, identify the successes and attempt to address the problems that have arisen.
You can find our original RMA conceptual report here as NZ Treasury Working Paper 98/7.