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Support for local government’s role in recovery

MEDIA RELEASE

Support for local government’s role in recovery

For immediate release on 2 December 2008

The President of Local Government New Zealand Lawrence Yule welcomed support from the Local Government Centre of AUT University for local government’s role in helping to address the current economic crisis.

AUT University has released a briefing to the Minister of Local Government that concludes: “local government has a crucial contribution to make to two national objectives: improving New Zealand’s economic performance, especially in response to the current economic crisis; and contributing, in collaboration with other sectors, to resolving New Zealand’s critical social issues”.

“We support the Centre’s recommendations to the Minister of Local Government in three main areas,” said Mr Yule.

“The first is assisting with infrastructure development. Infrastructure is the main driver of council expenditure and ignoring or delaying infrastructure will only lead to deferred expenditure in future years. Council spending on infrastructure developments often has a significant impact on local economies.

“The second area relates to reducing the costs of compliance. Many people forget that councils are often implementing central government-imposed regulations and procedures. We welcome opportunities to work with Government on making some of the regulations more streamlined and saving councils time and money.”

“AUT is also correct in its view on local government’s potential impact on social issues. Councils are closest to their communities and have a role in leading and coordinating the right social solutions for these communities. Every day, councils work in collaboration with central government representatives, businesses and community groups, to address New Zealand’s critical social issues.

“While some other opinions expressed in the briefing differ from those of Local Government New Zealand and its members, we agree on these key areas. We look forward to discussing these issues with the Government and the Local Government Minister,” said Mr Yule.

ENDS

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