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Dunedin MP’s comments on football tournament highly ironic

Dunedin MP’s comments on football tournament highly ironic

25 January 2013

Less than two months after passing legislation to quite deliberately constrain council activity, Dunedin MP and newly appointed Minister, Michael Woodhouse, is now encouraging Dunedin City Council to spend one million dollars of ratepayer’s money on a FIFA under 20’s football tournament.

Mr Woodhouse stated on Checkpoint on Wednesday night, “the Local Government Amendment Bill (sic), which is being passaged through the house at the moment, does not preclude councils from making decisions just like this one which do have an economic benefit. So yes there is a cost, I understand that, but I feel that the Mayor [Dave Cull] is looking only at the cost and is being a bit blind to what are obvious benefits to hosting.

Mr Woodhouse is simply incorrect says Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) President Lawrence Yule.

“LGNZ provided advice to Government on the legal effect and associated legal risks arising from the new purpose clause for local authorities, but the Government chose to proceed with its approach.”

“Off the cuff statements from MP’s that nothing will change do not alter the legal fact that the law in fact has changed and its impact, according to our legal advice, is very uncertain,” says Mr Yule.

LGNZ Chief Executive, Malcolm Alexander, said LGNZ has commissioned and distributed to its members legal advice as to how to interpret and manage the legal risks associated with the new law.

“Nonetheless, it would be helpful if Government Ministers could at least maintain a consistent policy approach or, on projects they want councils to fund, guarantee to meet the litigation costs that may arise, says Mr Alexander.


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