New Zealand Councils are taking some tips from the Local Government Association of Queensland, asking for help to replicate some of LGAQ’s services which have saved Queensland councils close to $100 million.

Local Government NZ President Lawrence Yule said he was greatly impressed by the LGAQ’s ability to identify and make savings. Mr Yule made the comments at his opening address to the 2013 Local Government New Zealand Conference in Hamilton this week.

Yule says, “Value for money and cost effectiveness are fundamental... we look forward to leveraging shared service opportunities to increase efficiency and effectiveness in the local government sector.”

LGAQ chief executive Greg Hallam has crossed the Tasman to offer some support and advice to the Kiwi councils, pointing out the similarities in the challenges faced on both sides of the water.

“Whether it is natural disasters, sluggish economies or challenges with debt and revenue overlaid with communities that increasingly expect more for less – we are all in the same boat,” Mr Hallam said.

The two Local Government organisations signed a joint paper last year in which the Queenslanders agreed to help develop a range of services for New Zealand councils to save time and money. One such project has seen a number of Queensland councils saving funds by splitting and sharing services.