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

Gordon Campbell: On The Wage Hike For MPs (and Paul Robeson)

Hard to tell what is more infuriating. Is it the 5.3% increase on the already bloated salaries of MPs, or their pantomime of outrage at being gifted with such a wonderful back-dated bonanza?

As usual, Prime Minister John Key has busily tried to distance himself from the political fallout, even though he happens to be the main beneficiary of the Remuneration Authority’s generosity. Finance Minister Bill English says with a straight face that it would actually be very hard to give the money back...

Even if it were true, it would actually be very easy for English and any other guilty colleagues, to give the extra money away. There are any number of food banks or homeless shelters who would be able to put the money to good use. More>>

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

No Designers Or Visual Artists: Flag Panel Members Announced

The Government has appointed 12 New Zealanders as members of the Flag Consideration Panel which will engage with the public about a possible new New Zealand flag, Deputy Prime Minister Bill English says. More>>

ALSO:

Labour MP Stands Down From Portfolio: Comment From Carmel Sepuloni

The first I knew of my mother’s charges was when I was called by a reporter yesterday. I spoke to Andrew and we agreed there is a conflict of interest at the present time which means I will temporarily stand aside from the Social Development portfolio. It’s the right thing to do… . More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Whether NZ Troops Are The Least Of Islamic State’s Problems

Given that it has been politically packaged and sold as a training mission, the Iraq deployment announced yesterday by Prime Minister John Key seemed to be mysteriously short of actual trainers... The other wing of the argument is whether a troop deployment is (a) the only effective way and (b) the appropriate time to combat Islamic State. More>>

ALSO:

143 Troops, Possible SAS Deployment, Legalities Unsorted: PM’s Statement On ISIL

Mr Speaker, today I am announcing to the House the Government’s decisions about our contribution to the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL... More>>

ALSO:

Liu Saga: PM's Dinner With Controversial Donor

John Key must front up to New Zealand and say what he discussed with Donghua Liu when the disgraced businessman paid $25,000 for the Prime Minister to come to dinner at his Remuera home, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

Roads: National MP 'Concerned' At Overseas Driver Crashes

Waitaki MP and Parliamentary Private Secretary for Tourism Jacqui Dean said she was concerned at the number of fatal crashes involving overseas licence holders and she really felt that the time had come for more to be done. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Today: Parole Bill Passes

A bill reducing parole hearings deemed to be unnecessary has passed. The third reading of the Parole Amendment Bill was completed by 104 to 16 with the Greens and Maori Party opposed. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news