Is Growing Local Government Good For Growth?
Businesses are very concerned about the Local Government Act Review and the associated reviews of local body funding and representation, says Business New Zealand Chief Executive Simon Carlaw.
"The total asset value of local government in New Zealand is nearly twice that of all the companies listed on the Stock Exchange. Business pays for a disproportionate part of this and every dollar spent on services and rates is a dollar not available for sustainable job and economic growth.
"The Local Government Act needs a tidy-up. But the focus of this review is not on rates that increase faster than inflation, inappropriate expenditure on non-core services, lack of transparency and accountability or the high compliance costs reported most recently in the review awaiting a response from the Minister of Commerce.
"The new partnership proclaimed between central and local government may produce better dialogue. It is unlikely to deliver real value to the wider community until it also provides an equal voice for businesses and the wider community that must meet their cost."