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Resource allocation and service design in local government: a case study

Manzurul Alam (School of Management & Governance, Murdoch University, Perth, Australia)

International Journal of Public Sector Management

ISSN: 0951-3558

Article publication date: 12 January 2015




Following the introduction of the New Zealand Local Government Amendment Acts (1996, 2002), some significant changes have taken place in resource allocation and service design of local government organizations. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effect of local government reforms on budgetary processes and service design in a New Zealand local government entity.


The paper adopts a qualitative case study research involving semi-structured interviews with the key informants to understand the evolving role of resource allocation the study investigates the budgetary processes in a metropolitan city council.


The traditional role of budget has changed to a more active and visible instrument in explaining the effectiveness and efficiency in the use and allocation of resources. Budgets have been given a central role in the management of local government finances. The reform process in New Zealand has enabled local government organizations to organize their activities by using the concepts of public and private goods.

Research limitations/implications

This is a single local government entity case study. Any generalization of the conclusions from this study should undertaken with care even though there are similarities between New Zealand and other countries even though they operate under different institutional contexts in different countries.


This paper makes important contribution by highlighting the implications of resource allocation on service design within New Zealand local government entities.



Alam, M. (2015), "Resource allocation and service design in local government: a case study", International Journal of Public Sector Management, Vol. 28 No. 1, pp. 29-41.



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Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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