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

 


Local Government reform – Northlanders’ views to be sought

19 December, 2012


Local Government reform – Northlanders’ views to be sought

The Northland Regional Council is planning a major fact-finding exercise next year to see what form Northlanders think local government in the region should take – and says it will reserve its collective judgement until those views are known.

With the passing early this month of the first of a series of planned changes to the Local Government Act, the regional council yesterday (subs: Tues 18 Dec) agreed the time had now come to act on potential reform.

Kathryn Ross, the regional council’s General Manager Planning and Policy, says while there had been calls earlier this year from some – including the Far North District Council – for reform, the regional council had been reluctant to enter the debate until the Local Government Act changes had occurred.

In an extensive 120-plus page agenda item tabled at yesterday’s meeting, Ms Ross says with that law change, “it is time to ensure that any proposals for change are community driven”.

She says while during previous debates on potential reform in Northland the regional council had advocated positions and favoured structures that provide a ‘whole of Northland’ approach, it currently “does not have a predetermined outcome in mind”.

“Council now has - and wants to take – the opportunity to engage with individuals and communities of interest within the region to inform, engage and identify an optimal model of local governance for Northland that would have community support.”

While not all councillors agreed, a majority yesterday voted for a staff recommendation outlining a proposed community engagement model. It involves an independently facilitated process, supported by internal staff resources, and includes citizen’s panels, surveys, an open door approach, workshops and other forms of direct public involvement.

The initial estimated $60,000 to $100,000 cost of the work had not been budgeted for, but firmed up costings – and how they could be paid for - would be addressed in a more detailed engagement plan to be presented to the council in February.

Ms Ross says staff had recommended not beginning the consultation process in earnest until February to allow the preparation of the raft of background and other material required. It would also mean most Northland residents and ratepayers would be back from their holidays.

“We need to take local government back to our local communities,” regional council Chairman Craig Brown says. “Any decisions on how it should be should come from them; it’s easy to presume you know best, but this is meant to be about community involvement and community governance.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Open Source // Open Society - Full Coverage

Gordon Campbell:
On The Reserve Bank And Auckland Housing

The ‘crisis – what crisis?’ response by the government to the Auckland housing price bubble is no longer acceptable.

So says Reserve Bank governor Grant Spencer – who used unusually frank language in his speech and subsequent interviews yesterday to call for a capital gains tax, and to generally chastise central and local government for their inaction on a threat to the country’s economic health and financial stability.

That threat has been real for some time. The housing price bubble has already created a currency bubble... Undaunted, the government keeps calling this situation a success story. More>>

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Bangladesh: GCSB Dragging NZ Into Human Rights Abuses

The New Zealand government should stop providing intelligence assistance to Bangladeshi security agencies that are known to systematically engage in human rights abuses, said the Green Party today. More>>

ALSO:

Troops Heading To Iraq: Government Must Come Clean On Deployment

New Zealanders deserve more than to hear about their troops’ deployment overseas from Australian media, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “News from Australia that Kiwi troops are on their way to Iraq this week is another example of the culture of secrecy and unknown protections around the deployment.” More>>

ALSO:

Image: Strikers And Protestors Join Outside McDonald's

A group of protestors took to McDonald’s Manners St today as a part of the international fast food workers day of action to end zero hour contracts. More>>

ALSO:

Greens: Special Education Funds Not Spent

More than $32 million of funding for children with special needs has not been spent by the Government, despite families of children with special needs complaining for years that they’ve been denied the support they deserve. More>>

ALSO:

John Key: Pre-Budget Speech To Business NZ

So this Government will remain relentlessly focused on improving the competitiveness of our economy... We will continue to give businesses a platform to invest, grow and create jobs in the knowledge they will be backed by a clear and consistent government policy programme. More>>

ALSO:

Multimedia: Andrew Little’s Response To John Key’s Pre-Budget Address

Labour Party leader Andrew Little spoke today on John Key’s pre-budget address this afternoon in Wellington. Little said National has had seven years to achieve a surplus and Kiwis have “fufilled their end of the bargain.” More>>

Surplus Baggage: Key Backs Off ‘Artificial Target’

John Key’s attempt to redefine his cornerstone promise of two election campaigns as an artificial target suggests his other promises are works of fiction, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On UE Pass Rates And University Dropout Rates

Houston, there is clearly a problem with (a) the plunge in pass rates for University Entrance qualifications, which has been especially steep among Maori students and also a problem with (b) the failure rates for Maori students among those who reach university... Unfortunately the two problems seem related. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
More RSS  RSS
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news