S01E03 - Local Councils: Lot's to do, No Money to Do It

Aotearoa Tomorrow

Dec 3 2023 • 1 hr 4 mins

https://www.nzinitiative.org.nz/

Are local councils contributing to the housing crisis? If so how? And more importantly, is there a solution to be found in public policy.

Eric Crampton has some answers for us. He’s an economist at a think tank called the New Zealand initiative, which traces it’s roots to the business roundtable, a think tank formed in the 80s. The business roundtable is a historically interesting organisation because it was one of the primary proponents of the market-driven reforms that transformed Aotearoa into the state we live in today.

What we learn about is the sheer incapacitating pressure that councils have been put under due to debt restrictions and limited central government support. This makes it harder to build infrastructure and encourages councils to restrict development.

It turns out we used to run councils very differently and as usual a solution to problems of the present can be found in the past.

Uncovering this solution takes us on a journey through history and the complex world of local government.

This interview helped me understand why things are the way they are in a way that would never have been possible without such a knowledgeable person sitting down to explain it all. Eric is a fantastic communicator, and this episode was an absolute treat to produce. I’m sure you’ll enjoy listening to it as much as I enjoyed making it.

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