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New Local Govt. Act Discussed

Auckland City Council

Press Release

New Local Government Act

Auckland City’s City Advocacy Committee today discussed and adopted in principle a proposed new Local Government Act.

The proposals are contained in a paper prepared by Wellington public law specialist Sir Geoffrey Palmer, at the request of Auckland City. The paper’s proposals, if adopted, would greatly simplify the current Act and would give both city and district councils the power of general competence.

Auckland City will seek the support of other councils throughout New Zealand for their approach to the issues. Council will also endeavour to persuade government and other parties to support the reforms in principle.

Councillor Richard Northey, Chairperson of the City Advocacy Committee, said that Chris Fletcher, Mayor of Auckland and MP for Epsom, will introduce it as a private bill into Parliament, to promote widespread public debate.

He says local bodies have long put up with an outdated Act, which is one of the most complex pieces of legislation in New Zealand.

"Recent local government reforms have obliged local government to consult its communities comprehensively on major decisions, and to report openly and transparently.

"Now these open democratic processes are in place, it is time for local bodies to be allowed to do what private individuals and companies can do - provided they get community support for proposed council activities, projects and policies. The time is overdue to unleash city and district councils from unnecessary bureaucratic regulations, and give them the freedom to act in the best interests of their community in a way that cities in Queensland and Western Australia have long enjoyed," Cr Northey says.

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