The president of Local Government New Zealand says it's time for council leaders to look overseas at better ways to manage their communities.
Lawrence Yule made the comments at the association's annual conference held in Nelson on Monday.
Mr Yule said local councils need to find ways to make their regions somewhere skilled locals and migrants want to live and work.
A keynote speaker was Paul Pisasle, mayor of the Queensland city of Ipswich, which is now one of the fastest growing cities in Australasia in terms of GDP growth.
Mr Yule said looking overseas to success stories such as that would enable local government in New Zealand to find the best possible practice.