The Role of Local Government in New Zealand - a Wellington Perspective
Venue: Rutherford House Lecture Theatre 1 (RHLT1)
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Local Government is ubiquitous in our everyday lives. It impacts all of us from dusk to dawn, whether we’re brushing our teeth, flushing the toilet, commuting to and from study or work, playing sport or reading a book at one’s local library. It affects almost everything we do, but no-one really pays it much attention.
This talk will consider the role local government plays in New Zealand, its legislative framework and governance processes. It will also highlight policy challenges Wellington faces and how local government seeks to position Wellington for the next 50 years.
Speaker: Justin Lester was elected Mayor in 2016. He joined Wellington City Council as a Northern Ward Councillor in 2010, going on to serve as Deputy Mayor from 2013 until 2016.
The mayoralty had a literal shaky start, with the Kaikoura earthquake occurring in his first month in office. This made resilience a top priority for his Council, along with growing our strong economy, making housing affordable, improving Wellington’s transport network, and ensuring Wellington remains New Zealand’s Capital of Culture and becomes the first predator-free city in the world.
Justin lives in Johnsonville with his wife Liz and two daughters. He has an LLB and a BA (German) from the University of Otago and a Masters of Laws (LLM) from the University of Heidelberg in Germany. He co-founded Kapai, a Wellington food enterprise, and worked in executive management in the private sector.