Built on a foundation of partnership, City Deals could help reset the relationship between central and local government around how we approach growth and build prosperity in our regions and main centres across New Zealand. We are grateful to have had Paul Low visiting this week from KPMG’s Brisbane office who has extensive, hands-on experience crafting and negotiating City Deals in Australia, drawing on the experience of the UK devolution model. City Deals are not business as usual - Paul emphasised the importance of getting to a higher order conversation around economic outcomes and unlocking real value.

This is a conversation beyond a wish list of unfunded projects. It requires effective leadership authority and mature relationships. Institutional reform should not be underestimated in order to make City Deals stick and succeed beyond electoral cycles. He referred to three horizons for ambition and reform in City Deals, from a relatively straightforward organising framework for bringing catalyst commitments together to focus efforts, to funding reform and devolution. 

Face over city scape