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Subsidiarity: Implications for New Zealand - WP 02/03

Publication Details

  • Subsidiarity: Implications for New Zealand
  • Published: Mar 2002
  • Status: Current
  • Author: Guerin, Kevin
  • JEL Classification: H11; H77
  • Hard copy: Available in HTML and PDF formats only.

Subsidiarity: Implications for New Zealand

New Zealand Treasury Working Paper 02/03

Published March 2002

Authors: Kevin Guerin


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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Table of Contents

List of Tables

1 Introduction

2 General principles for allocation and co-ordination of functions

3 Overseas experience

4 Trans-Tasman arrangements

5 New Zealand – central/regional/local government

6 Conclusion


twp02-03.pdf (184 KB) pp. 1–16

List of Tables


This paper constitutes part of the future research agenda identified in Guerin (2001). Detailed and frank feedback from Joanna Gordon, Murray Petrie and Mark Sowden from the Treasury was much appreciated, along with comments on this and/or earlier work from Gareth Chaplin, Megan Claridge, Mary-Ellen Fogarty, and Kirsty Hutchison from the Treasury, and Peter Mumford from the Ministry of Economic Development.


The views expressed in this Working Paper are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the New Zealand Treasury. The paper is presented not as policy, but with a view to inform and stimulate wider debate.

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