It is not central government as such but a dense network of agencies that are involved with the development and monitoring of local government: the Minister of Local Government, the Department of Internal Affairs, the Local Government Commission, the Office of the Controller and Auditor-General, the Office of the Ombudsmen, and the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment. Their roles range from strategic development and policy, regulation and monitoring, to handling complaints about the activities and operation of local government. One illustration is the current measures to ensure environmental protection standards in Canterbury and the Far North District. Following from independent reports about water management problems central government has intervened. There are real issues surrounding water quality, for example, because central government is keen to have high standards for water quality in areas frequented by tourists; however, local residents do not feel they should be required to fund these high standards from taxes on property.
Local Government (http://www.localcouncils.govt.nz/l gip.nsf/wpg_url/About-Local-Governm ent-Roles-of-Central-Government-Age ncies-Index, accessed June 5, 2010).
Nick Smith and Rodney Hide, Commissioners needed to fix Canterbury water ( June 5, 2010).