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

Anzac Issue Out Now: Werewolf 47

Hi and welcome to the 47th edition of Werewolf, published on the eve of Anzac Day. Its become a cliché to describe Gallipolli as the crucible of this country’s identity, yet hold on... Isn’t our national identity supposed to be bi-cultural... and wouldn’t that suggest that the New Zealand Wars of the 19th century is a more important crucible of national identity than those fought on foreign soil?

Yet as Alison McCulloch eloquently reveals in this month’s cover story, New Zealand devotes a mere fraction of its attention span and funding resources to commemorating the New Zealand Wars compared to what it devotes to the two world wars, Vietnam and Afghanistan... More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Spookwatch: New Inspector-General Of Intelligence And Security Appointed

Prime Minister John Key hasannounced the appointment of Cheryl Gwyn as Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security. The appointment was made by the Administrator of the Government on behalf of the Governor General and is for a term of three years. More>>

Crowdsourcing: Green Party Launches Internet Rights And Freedoms Bill

The Green Party has today launched the Internet Rights and Freedoms Bill, New Zealand’s first ever Bill crowdsourced by a political party. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Shane Jones Departure

Shane Jones has left Parliament in the manner to which we have become accustomed, with self interest coming in first and second, and with the interests of the Labour Party (under whose banner he served) way, way back down the track. More>>

COMMENT:

Multimedia: PM Post-Cabinet Press Conference - April 22 2014

The Prime Minister met with reporters to discuss: • The recent improvement in the economy with a growing job market • Income and wealth inequality • Easter trading laws • The New Zealander killed in a drone strike in Yemen... More>>

ALSO:

Easter Trading: Workers 'Can Kiss Goodbye To Easter Sunday Off'

The Government’s decision to “reprioritise” scarce labour inspector resources by abandoning the enforcement of Easter Sunday Shop Trading laws means workers can kiss goodbye to a guaranteed day off, says Labour’s Associate Labour Issues spokesperson Darien Fenton. More>>

ALSO:

ACT Don't Go For Maximum Penalty: Three Strikes For Burglary, Three Years Jail

Three strikes for burglary was introduced to England and Wales in 1999. As in New Zealand, burglary was out of control and given a low priority by the police and the courts. A Labour government passed a three strikes law whereby a third conviction for burglaries earned a mandatory three years in prison... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Drone Strikes And Judith Collins‘ Last Stand

The news that a New Zealand citizen was killed last November in a US drone attack in Yemen brings the drones controversy closer to home. More>>

ALSO:

Elections: New Electorate Boundaries Finalised

New boundaries for the country’s 64 General and seven Māori electorates have been finalised – with an additional electorate created in Auckland. More>>

ALSO:

Policies: Labour’s Economic Upgrade For Manufacturing

Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today announced his Economic Upgrade for the manufacturing sector – a plan that will create better jobs and higher wages. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Life And ACC Work Of Sir Owen Woodhouse

With the death of Sir Owen Woodhouse, the founding father of the Accident Compensation Scheme, New Zealand has lost one of the titans of its post-war social policy. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news