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Local decisions best made locally

Local decisions best made locally

12 April 2006

Local Government New Zealand is pleased that any decision by the Christchurch City Council’s investment arm, Christchurch City Holdings Ltd, to sell a proportion of its shares in the Lyttelton Port Company to an international buyer, will be a matter to be resolved between the council and its community.

“The Local Government Act 2002 recognised councils’ obligation to make significant decisions on behalf of their communities. It is important to local democracy that the decision-making framework that enables councils and communities to make strategic choices about their futures be respected. I am pleased to see these rights being exercised without Government intervention in the Christchurch City Holdings case,” says Basil Morrison, President, Local Government New Zealand.

“It is important that the local decision making function remains at the local level. The potential sale of the Port of Lyttelton shares raises important principles about the right of communities and their councils to determine their future. The Government demonstrated its confidence in local government’s decision making ability by not including a final veto over a council resolution in the Local Government Act.”

Councils are required to consult widely with their communities on any significant issues and to take into account all points of view before drawing final conclusions and deciding an appropriate course of action and way forward.

“Sometimes difficult decisions need to be made to guarantee future wellbeing. We are pleased to see local governance in action.”

ENDS

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