New Zealand, along with most modern democracies, has a system of multi-level government, with central government having responsibility for matters of national significance and local government matters of local or regional significance. And, like similar democracies, the allocation question – that is, how responsibilities
are distributed across orders of government – is a constant matter of debate. The theme of this issue, which is addressed by many of the articles, is ‘localism’. In the world of public policy localism sits in a constellation of concepts which include subsidiarity, devolution, decentralisation and deconcentration. In its traditional guise localism refers to small units of local government that allow for active participation by citizens.
Policy Quarterly (PQ) is targeted at readers in the public sector, including politicians and their staff, public servants and a wide variety of professions, together with others interested in public issues. Its length and style are intended to make the journal accessible to busy readers.