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Prime Minister opens local government conference

Prime Minister opens local government conference

For immediate release on 25 July 2005

Local and central government elected members and officials, the Prime Minister, overseas experts in the field of local government and key stakeholders came together for the opening of Local Government New Zealand’s annual conference in Christchurch today.

“The theme of this year’s conference, “national goals, local roles”, reflects the unique relationship between local and central government in this country. We have designed this year’s conference sessions to stimulate and provoke thinking about our relationship with Government and how this may continue to develop in the future,” says Local Government New Zealand’s President Basil Morrison.

“Local Government New Zealand has worked extremely hard to bring together a programme of top-rate speakers to address some of the interesting issues unique to the roles and responsibilities of local government. They have been tasked with challenging our sector to think about the big issues and opportunities facing councils,” he says.

In her opening address, Prime Minister Helen Clark, announced that the Government is raising the subsidy levels for projects to upgrade sewerage treatment and disposal systems in small, rural communities with high levels of deprivation to up to 90 percent of the costs of the project.

Mr Morrison welcomed the announcement of the increased Government subsidy level and recognised that it will bring significant public health benefits to those small communities struggling to pay their share.

The conference, which will be attended by a number of Cabinet Ministers, Dr Don Brash, Leader of the Opposition and world renowned international speakers and experts on local government, finishes on Wednesday.

Over 680 delegates have registered for the conference including representatives from 84 councils, private sector leaders and other stakeholders with an interest in the local government sector.

Conference speeches and presentations will be available from Tuesday 26 July at www.lgnz.co.nz.

ENDS

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