Speaker Profiles

The Honourable Rodney Hide

The Honourable Rodney Hide

Minister of Local Government, Minister for Regulatory Reform, Associate...

Government of New Zealand

Rodney Hide is one of New Zealand’s most high profile and colourful politicians.  He heads ACT New Zealand, a party which espouses free market classical liberalism, and is a Cabinet Minister in the National-led government of Prime Minister John Key.

Local Government is usually a quiet, almost invisible portfolio, but since becoming Minister last October Rodney Hide has set a cracking pace for reform.  He has earned the moniker of “Minister for Ratepayers” for his determination to crack down on red tape and needless bureaucracy, and because of his focus on the rights of ratepayers and residents, rather than councils.

In a nutshell, he believes local government’s role should be to help people live their lives and get ahead, rather than get in the way of them doing so.

One of his major jobs is reforming the governance of New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland, where council squabbling and lack of effective decision-making on important issues over many years has failed the region.  The reforms will see eight territorial authorities amalgamated into one unitary authority.

Mr Hide has made it clear he is committed to bringing more accountability, transparency and financial responsibility to local government across the country.

In his Regulatory Reform and Associate Commerce portfolios, Mr Hide  champions regulatory quality through the provision of sound public policy analysis and changing the culture of regulators to ensure they do not see regulation as a first resort to problem solving.

The ACT leader is also leading a drive to increase New Zealand’s productivity in order to close the income gap with Australia by 2025.  A 2025 Taskforce has been established to provide policy recommendations and Mr Hide has also secured Government agreement to explore the concept of a New Zealand Productivity Commission as a permanent independent policy agency.

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