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Plain English Guide to Local Government Act


MEDIA RELEASE

Plain English Guide to Local Government Act published
For immediate release on 30 September 2003

Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) today released a plain English overview to the Local Government Act 2002 for councillors, community groups and anyone else who needs to understand what the Act means for local authorities and the communities they serve.

“The new Local Government Act introduced a large number of significant changes to local authorities’ powers and responsibilities, including the way they plan and consult with their communities,” said LGNZ acting Chief Executive Kinsley Sampson.

“Local Government New Zealand, under the LGKnowHow initiative, has co-ordinated a series of comprehensive guides and training resources for council staff covering rating, governance and the other major aspects of the new legislation. However, we also realised there was a need for a good, practical general guide to the Act, which was suitable for anyone with an interest in how local government works.”

The result is The Local Government Act 2002: An Overview, which is available at a cost of $40 (including GST) from Local Government New Zealand, PO Box 1214, Wellington. It is designed for people who are not necessarily working with the Act day-to-day, but who need to understand in plain language how the Act works. The Overview contains step-by-step guides; examples of how the Act works and a quick reference guide to help people who want to go to the legislation itself, find their way around the Act.

“The Overview will provide an invaluable high level guide for councillors and for others who deal with local government, or have an interest in questions like how councils make decisions, and how they manage heir money,” said Mr Sampson.

“There is a great deal of interest, for example, in the new planning and consultation requirements under the Act, and in particular the new long-term community plans, including information on community outcomes, that all councils must produce by 2006. The Overview defines ‘community outcomes’ and sets out how the planning process will work.”

LGKnowHow is a joint local government/central government initiative to provide guidance to local authorities on implementation of the Local Government Act 2002. The programme has published a comprehensive set of guides covering each part of the new legislation. These guides are now for sale to interested individuals and organisations.

ENDS

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