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Communities crucial to recession recovery

Draft MEDIA RELEASE
Communities crucial to recession recovery
For immediate release on 28 May 2009


“Today’s Budget clearly outlines the government’s commitment to working with local communities to boost the economy and heighten job prospects.

"However, there is more that needs to be done – and it requires greater investment in the overall relationship between central and local government," says Local Government New Zealand President Lawrence Yule.

"To begin with, the network of roads, water and IT infrastructure owned and maintained by councils represents a platform of growth for the economy that cannot be ignored, and provides the most easily accessible opportunity to stimulate the economy and create jobs.

"Yet the government has yet to engage substantively with our member councils – collectively the country’s biggest owner of infrastructure - on this point.

"As well, increasing funding to local councils, rather than forcing them to look to their debt reserves to fund capital expenditure, would go a long way towards mitigating the impacts of a slower economy.

"The Government must also lead a range of initiatives which offer benefits for communities at a local level.”

Mr Yule says his organisation is buoyed by the Government's undertaking to strengthen community wellbeing with ongoing social support projects. “We support its commitment to rolling out home insulation, both as an effective form of economic stimulus, and to improve the health and wellbeing of house-holders across New Zealand.

"Anything that enhances our communities' wellbeing will ensure our towns and cities are best-placed to deal with the effects of a recession and recover from them.”

He added that Local Government New Zealand would work with the Government on mechanisms to help deliver the scheme.

ENDS

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