A report into the effectiveness of councils has found they have a troubled relationship with the Government and both are to blame for the problems.
A new study claims that some local authority chief executives are boosting their pay packets by "empire-building".
A bill that tightens rules around local government election donations has passed its first reading in Parliament.
The former head of the debt-stricken Kaipara District Council received severance payments totalling $240,000 when he quit, a report says.
Labour and the Greens have failed in their bids to introduce bills to tighten up the rules covering local government elections.
Wellington's regional council has issued a consultation document openly discussing the potential for substantial savings on operational spending and capital investment if the region's existing nine local governments work together more closely.
Government moves to restrict the activities of local councils are based on false information, Labour says.
Prime Minister John Key has urged further belt-tightening by local government, saying it needs to play its part in rebuilding the economy.
Wellington City Council has extended the deadline for submissions on possible changes to the structure of local government in the region.
Finance Minister Bill English has conceded that New Zealand's 78 local authorities are carrying a relatively low level of debt.
Mayors from around the country are meeting at Parliament to discuss Government reforms aimed at reining in council spending.
A local councils shake-up has been criticised by the Auckland Mayor, who says the proposal is at odds with legislation.
The Auckland Council says the Government may not have properly thought through moves to limit local government spending.
The Government is putting a lid on spending by city councils, but the Auckland council says this may mean cancelling events and infrastructure projects.
Prime Minister John Key and Local Government Minister Nick Smith have announced reforms for local government.
It is now nearly five months since Rodney Hide was rolled by his good friend Don Brash and the party is barely polling above two percent.
New Zealand's governance bodies are increasingly out of touch with the organisations they are meant to guide, according to new research from Auckland University's business school.
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