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

Parliament Kicks Off: Carter Re-Elected Speaker

The 51st Parliament held its commission opening today with MPs sworn in and David Carter elected Speaker.

The day began at 11am with the three Royal Commissioners – the Chief Justice, the Court of Appeal President, and the Chief High Court Judge – declaring the new Parliament open.

After the Commissioners left the Chamber the swearing in of MPs took place in alphabetical order. Unlike some previous openings all MPs managed to swear on the bible or affirm their oath without any hiccups... More>>

 

Labour: Review Team Named, Leadership Campaign Starts

Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review. He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban.

ALSO:


Roy Morgan Poll: National Slips, Labour Hits Lows

The first New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll since the NZ Election shows National 43.5% (down 3.54% since the September 20 Election). This isn’t unusual, National support has dropped after each of John Key’s Election victories... However, support for the main opposition Labour Party has crashed to 22.5% (down 2.63% and the lowest support for Labour since the 1914 NZ Election as United Labour). More>>

ALSO:

In On First Round: New Zealand Wins Security Council Seat

Prime Minister John Key has welcomed New Zealand securing a place on the United Nations Security Council for the 2015-16 term. More>>

ALSO:

TPP Leak: Intellectual Property Text Confirms Risk - Jane Kelsey

The US is continuing its assault on generic medicines through numerous proposed changes to patent laws. ‘These are bound to impact on Pharmac if they are accepted’, according to Professor Kelsey... Copyright is another area of ongoing sensitivity... More>>

ALSO:

RMA: Smith Plans Reform To Ease Urban Development

Newly appointed Environment Minister Nick Smith has announced Resource Management Act reform to foster urban development, where high land prices and expensive resource consents are blocking efforts to provide affordable housing. More>>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On New Zealand getting involved (again) in other people's wars

Apparently, the Key government is still pondering how New Zealand will contribute to the fight against Islamic State. Long may it ponder, given the lack of consensus among our allies as to how to fight IS, where to fight it (Syria, Iraq, or both?) and with whose ground troops, pray tell? More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On child poverty, and David Shearer’s latest outburst

The politicisation of (a) the public service and (b) the operations of the Official Information Act have been highlighted by the policy advice package on child poverty that RNZ’s resolute political editor Brent Edwards has finally prised out of the Ministry of Social Development. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On the government’s review of security laws

So the Key government is about to launch a four week review of the ability of our existing legislation to deal with “suspected and returning foreign terrorist fighters, and other violent extremists.”

According to its terms of reference, the review will consider whether the SIS, GCSB and Police are sufficiently able right now to (a) investigate and monitor suspected and returning foreign terrorist fighters… More>>

ALSO:

Labour Davids: Lisa Owen Interviews David Shearer

David Shearer still mulling whether to stand for Labour leadership but says his family doesn’t think it’s a good idea. Declares that it will be “incredibly divisive” for the Labour caucus if David Cunliffe returns to the role of leader. More>>

ALSO:

Taser Use & False Evidence: Timaru Officers "Failed To Follow Good Policing Practice"

The Authority found that even if Mr Reuben’s contact with the officer was deliberate it amounted to only a minor assault. While it found the use of the OC spray was justified, the use of the Taser was not a proportionate response... More>>

ALSO:

Little Surprise: Andrew Little To Contest Labour Leadership

I have decided to contest the Labour Party leadership. There are three immediate issues to deal with: creating greater cohesion across the caucus, rebuilding the relationship between caucus and the Party and, most importantly getting the process under way to listen to the voters who have abandoned us... More>>

ALSO:

Two Fewer Votes In Recount: "Positive Result" - Harawira

When I applied for a recount of the votes from the Tai Tokerau election, I made it clear that this application was not aimed at overturning the election result, but ensuring that all votes cast by Maori were treated with due respect, regardless of whether those votes are for Labour, Maori Party or MANA. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news