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Source: BusinessNZ

Matt Cowley is the new Chair of the Local Government Forum, a group of major business organisations with an interest in promoting efficient and effective local government.
Mr Cowley is Chief Executive of Tauranga Business Chamber and a Director of the New Zealand Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
“The members of the Local Government Business Forum are significant representatives of ratepayers – businesses and farmers – and as such we have a keen interest in policies affecting local government,” Mr Cowley said.
“Local government is a vital part of the economic and social landscape and I see the Forum’s role as promoting policies that will maximise the sector’s contribution to New Zealanders’ wellbeing.
“The best way for local government to contribute to maximising wellbeing is for it do its core activities well and keep its spending and rates under control.
“There are many big issues on the radar for local government, including the Government’s major reforms of water services, resource management legislation, as well as its Review into the Future for Local Government which is considering local government’s future structure, roles, and funding”.
Mr Cowley replaces Michael Barnett who stepped down in March.
“As Forum Chair for the past 12 years Michael Barnett was a very credible and highly respected spokesperson on local government issues from a business and wider community perspective,” Mr Cowley said.
The Local Government Forum comprises organisations that have a vital interest in the activities of local government. Its members include Business New Zealand, the Electricity Networks Aotearoa, Federated Farmers of New Zealand, Hospitality New Zealand, New Zealand Chambers of Commerce, New Zealand Initiative. The Forum was established in 1994 to promote greater efficiency in local government and to contribute to debate on policy issues affecting it.
Forum members are each significant representatives of ratepayers in their own right but the Forum’s perspective is to advance community welfare through the advocacy of sound public policy. We believe that local government can best serve the interests of the community and ratepayers by focusing on the efficient provision of public goods at a local level.