Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 

New Legislation will Give Govt Power to Protect Ratepayers

NoMoreRates.com

The nationwide campaign to replace the present system of council rates with a fairer system which reflects ability to pay and value for money.

MEDIA RELEASE

29th November 2012

New legislation will give Government power to intervene to give ratepayers some protection from council actions and expenditure.

Next step must be to develop alternatives to rates.

The passing of the Local Government Act Amendment Bill is one more step on the road to bringing fiscal responsibility to councils and some measure of protection for ratepayers from ever-rising rates.

By introducing greater powers for intervention the Government is giving clear notice to councils that they will be under surveillance in terms of the funding methods they propose and the effect on rates and debt levels.

Opposition to the Bill has largely come from local councils who are concerned that they will lose some of their present unfettered powers to spend rates money as they see fit, without sufficient regards to the views of ratepayers.

Despite claims to the contrary local councils, will still be able to make decisions on spending for activities which are supported by their local communities.

The new legislation requires councils to concentrate on local core infrastructure, but still allows councils to define that infrastructure, which will vary from council to council.

The main aim of the fiscal responsibility measures in the legislation is to bring order and a measure of control on the level of rates and debt.

While much of council debt is related to infrastructure the need for, and quality of, some infrastructure is often questionable.

The new wastewater scheme at Mangawhai in Kaipara District , the new Stadium in Dunedin, and now the Central Rail Link in Auckland, are all examples of poor financial planning and management.

Some non-financial issues in the new legislation have raised concerns that the Government is stripping ratepayers and residents of their democratic rights, and there may well be grounds for some of those concerns.

But local councils have become so far offside with their citizens, particularly in regard to rates, that drastic action was needed.

It is now up to councils to adjust to the new legislation and make every effort to work with their ratepayers instead of constantly putting their backs up with rates increases way beyond the rate of inflation – and without the full support of their ratepayers.

The government and councils should now work together to develop new methods of funding local governments to replace the present unfair system of property rates which takes no account of the individual ratepayer’s ability to pay.


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On DHB Deficits And Free Trade

Currently the world is looking on aghast at the Trump administration’s plans to slash Obamacare, mainly in order to finance massive tax changes that will deliver most of their gains to the wealthy. Lives will be lost in the trade-off. Millions of Americans stand to lose access to the healthcare they need.

Spot the difference with New Zealand, where DHBs are under intense pressure to reduce deficits within a climate of chronic underfunding. More>>

 
 

Greens' Response: Slum-Like Rentals Exposed In Renting Review

“...The grim findings of the review are a wakeup call about the true state of rentals in this country. Too many renters are festering in slum-like conditions under the thumb of landlords who have largely unchecked powers and ignore tenants’ complaints when it suits them.” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Life And Times Of Peter Dunne

The unkind might talk of sinking ships, others could be more reminded of a loaded revolver left on the desk by his Cabinet colleagues as they closed the door behind them, now that the polls in Ohariu had confirmed he was no longer of much use to National. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Labour’s Campaign Launch

One of the key motifs of Ardern’s speech was her repeated use of the phrase – “Now, what?” Cleverly, that looks like being Labour’s response to National’s ‘steady as it goes’ warning against not putting the economic ‘gains’ at risk. More>>

ALSO:

Lyndon Hood: Social Welfare, Explained

Speaking as someone who has seen better times and nowadays mostly operates by being really annoying and humiliating to deal with, I have some fellow feeling with the current system, so I’ll take this chance to set a few things straight.. More>>

ALSO:

Deregistered: Independent Board Decision On Family First

The Board considers that Family First has a purpose to promote its own particular views about marriage and the traditional family that cannot be determined to be for the public benefit in a way previously accepted as charitable... More>>

ALSO:

Transport Policies: Nats' New $10.5bn Roads Of National Significance

National is committing to the next generation of Roads of National Significance, National Party Transport Spokesperson Simon Bridges says. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election