For 163 years Wynn Williams has partnered with local government clients. Over this time, we have built a reputation for understanding the intricacies of local government and complexities of operating within the public sphere. Our team is the go-to legal service provider to two of the three largest regional councils in New Zealand and we are trusted advisors on a number of legal service panels for local authorities across the country. Today our highly experienced team is regularly sought after to advise on a vast array of local government issues and legislation - including all matters under the Local Government Act and associated legislation, the Public Works Act, Local Government (Rating) Act, the Local Government Official Information & Meetings Act and Te Tiriti o Waitangi. We have experts in a range of practice areas including environment and planning, construction, property, insurance, commercial, employment and litigation.
We also work with corporate clients, developers and other private clients to help them navigate local government requirements imperative to realising goals and objectives.
How we can help
We can assist district councils, regional councils and unitary authorities with a breadth of local government matters including:
- Reviewed Environment Canterbury's rate collection contracts, including advising on obligations under the Rating Valuations Act 1998.
- Advised on Council Development Contribution policies, including reviewing draft policies and checking for compliance with the requirements of the Local Government Act 2002.
- Assisted with the development of the Flood Protection and Drainage Bylaw and recently completed its five-year review.
- Assisted with the development of the Navigation Safety Bylaw for Environment Canterbury.
- Acted for Queenstown Lakes District Council in a challenge to its Freedom Camping Bylaw by way of judicial review.
- Advised clients on all aspects of information law, including under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 (LGOIMA) and the Privacy Act.
The 2022 local government elections are now over. With a significant number of new mayors and councillors, its perhaps timely to reflect on what to expect at the first meeting and recap on conflicts of interest, before reflecting on the challenges ahead for this cohort of mayors, councillors and local board members.
As Chief Ombudsman, Peter Boshier has led the Office of the Ombudsman to faster and more effective resolution of complaints relating to the release of information under both the Official Information Act and the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 (LGOIMA).
Local government is facing an increasing number of significant policy changes that need to be implemented. Some of these changes will have substantial impacts on parts of the diverse communities that counselors and committee members represent.