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Instant law to control council assets cynical

Government's instant new law to tell local councils what assets they can and can't sell is a return to the bad old days of ad hoc law making and meddling, the Employers & Manufacturers Association (Northern) says.

"Providing housing is a welfare role which is rightly the province of central government, not local government," said Alasdair Thompson, EMA's chief executive.

"The ratepayers of Auckland do not have a responsibility to provide low cost accommodation to any group of its citizens.

"Anyone thinking the new law is to protect pensioner interests is wide of the mark; the Government is really trying to lock Auckland's ratepayers into doing the job of central government so it won't have to.

"Times have changed. The private sector builds rental accommodation which the government subsidises for poor people.

"What will have next? A law requiring Aucklanders to buy shares in Air New Zealand, or other classes of assets where they want a subsidy from the city's ratepayers, regardless of its economic merit?

"Auckland is being singled out again."

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