Subsidiarity: Implications for New Zealand
Subsidiarity requires taking decisions at the level of government best placed to do so, but does not say what that level is. Rather, it gives a broad framework within which to have the debate. Implementing subsidiarity means (1) allocating roles appropriately between levels of government, (2) co-ordinating implementation of decisions, and (3) managing accountability and participation. Subsidiarity does not, however, tell us how to achieve these goals. It is therefore more about how a decision is made than about what the specific decision is. Europe, the United States and Australia have adopted varying solutions to these issues. New Zealand’s ability to influence the trans-Tasman outcome is likely to be limited. The main implications for New Zealand are in designing trans-Tasman institutions and allocating responsibilities between central and local government.
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