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National party leaders attend Mayor’s briefing

National party leaders attend Mayor’s briefing

September 29, 2008

The recommendations from the Royal Commission into Auckland Governance proved to be a key topic discussed by North Shore City and National Party MPs at a briefing session in the city this morning.

Mayor Williams set out the councils’ position – to keep the “local” in local government - and to support an enhanced greater regional council to deal only with truly regional infrastructure issues.

Mayor Williams said he was interested to hear John Key’s approach – that Mr Key would respect the Commission’s findings. But Mr Williams emphasised that he was concerned to hear indirectly that there was support for a one city approach – which would be very detrimental to the concept of keeping citizens well represented at a local level.

National party leader John Key and the three other National Party MPs from North Shore City electorates attended the briefing with Mayor Andrew Williams, Councillors and senior council executives.

At the briefing were John Key and parliamentarians Hon. Murray McCully (East Coast Bays), Dr Jonathan Coleman (Northcote), and Dr Wayne Mapp (North Shore) all of them candidates in the forthcoming election.

The meeting also discussed a number of important issues affecting North Shore City and its ratepayers, ranging from public transport to the third harbour crossing, leaky homes, development contributions and the Resource Management Act. Mayor Williams outlined the city’s key goals for ratepayers and residents, including the need to proceed with a number of vital infrastructure projects such as the wastewater tunnel and outfall, a $113million project that will make a major contribution to stream and beach water quality; the continuing work on Project CARE, which has much the same aim; major roading improvements, and major civic amenities such as libraries, pools, and wharves for ferries and recreation.

He also spelt out the need to review funding options and the significant costs that face ratepayers, including the need for developers to make contributions to costly infrastructure, the cost to the council and all ratepayers of the leaky buildings issue and the challenge of holding rates in periods of growth and increasing costs.

He says the Resource Management Act is presently costly and bureaucratic and is being used by many developers to use the courts to pursue vexatious, time consuming and anti competitive submissions.

Mayor Williams says he is looking forward to seeing the National Party’s policy on the Resource Management Act, due out tomorrow.

ENDS

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