Our international work is a growing part of our business. We undertake project work offshore, deliver keynote addresses (see our contribution to the 2010 Future of Local Government Summit) and provide expert input on the role and function of local government.
In a complex world, the ability to learn from the experience of others can often make the difference between genuinely successful innovation and simply muddling along. We maintain strong international networks which give us access to leading edge research and experience from around the globe, especially in our core areas of focus such as local government and governance.
And the traffic is not just one way. New Zealand has developed some real strengths in areas of governance which we are able to contribute both through contributions to journals and other publications and more importantly through working offshore. MDL is part of an ongoing dialogue involving local government in England, Australia, British Columbia and New Zealand on the use of arms length entities. Our expertise in this area is playing a key role in reshaping thinking on their use as an option for local government service delivery. This is just one example of the role we play as an internationally respected source of practical ideas for the development of local government. It's a very important part of what we do, and a rapidly expanding part of our overall work. We welcome further enquiries and how our expertise can contribute to the development of local government in other jurisdictions.
Our Australian involvements include regular participation in the annual Future of Local Government Summit, a close working relationship with the Australian Centre of Excellence for Local Government (which currently includes Peter McKinlay's membership of an ACELG led team reviewing options for consolidation in local government for the Local Government Association of South Australia), and membership of a reference panel for a major strategic review project being undertaken by Lake Macquarie City Council, one of Australia's larger local authorities.
The Lake Macquarie City Council project has led to the establishment of an Australia wide consultancy, SmartGov, to improve performance in local government. MDL is represented through Peter McKinlay's involvement as an associate.
Further afield, we have close relationships with the Commonwealth Local Government Forum (Peter McKinlay is a member of the Forum's Research Advisory Group), the Commonwealth Secretariat, and leading think tanks such as the UK Local Government Information Unit.