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New council should put up economic recovery plan

Media release

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Cameron Brewer – Councillor for Orakei

New council should put up economic recovery plan

News that GDP shrank in the third quarter and that the country neared a double-dip recession as well as relatively weak pre-Christmas consumer spending is proof enough that New Zealand now needs the new Auckland Council to positively contribute to the recovery, says Auckland Councillor Cameron Brewer.

“Never in the history of New Zealand has one local body really had a significant role to play in an economic recovery. However Auckland Council is now the biggest municipal authority in Australasia and it must play a role. We can’t just rate and reap. We’ve actually got to come up with a package as what the council’s contribution to the recovery is going to be.”

Mr Brewer, who chairs the Business Advisory Panel and is deputy chair of the Economic Development Forum, says with the likes of construction and consents well down the new council needs to encourage not discourage growth.

“We can sit around talking the high level stuff until the cows come home. However what business really wants from us is action around getting the basics right. They want better management for the likes of building and resource consents and a level playing field when it comes to the 158 bylaws we administer.

“With 170 politicians, 7,500 staff, and 27 committees, forums and panels, the new council is set up to put the handbrake on good ideas and growth. We actually need greater streamlining in our processes and more of a focus on core business.

“The amalgamation of eight councils was supposed to deliver economies of scale, greater efficiencies, better value for money, and really drive Auckland as the economic powerhouse. Let’s not stray away from why we have a single unitary authority. Let’s not just keep asking Wellington and the ratepayers for more money. Instead, let’s show the country we’re responsible and serious about contributing to the national good.

“With all the end-of-year statistics showing the economy is still seriously struggling, I call on the Mayor’s Office to put up an economic recovery plan to help spark much needed growth,” says Cameron Brewer.

ENDS

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