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Farmers and Auckland Mayor Agree

14 July 2006

Farmers and Auckland Mayor Agree

Auckland Mayor Dick Hubbard and Federated Farmers’ President Charlie Pedersen are in total agreement on the need for changes to the way local government is funded.

Mr Pedersen met Mr Hubbard yesterday to discuss deficiencies in local government funding.

“There was strong agreement between us on the need for a look at fresh options for funding local government. The current system is not working,” said Mr Pedersen.

A recent Federated Farmers survey of 83 councils showed local authority rates are set to rise about eight percent a year over the next three years – way above expected inflation rates.

Federated Farmers and Mr Hubbard agree that funding local government mainly on the basis of property values is out of date, and other options should be explored.

“Federated Farmers will continue to put a high priority on rates to get a fairer deal for our members. It is pleasing that the Mayor of New Zealand’s biggest city also recognises that the current funding system is flawed.

“We hope the government is listening to the concerns from both ratepayers and councils,” said Mr Pedersen.

Federated Farmers has been calling for a Royal Commission into the funding of local government.

“Mr Hubbard and I talked about a range of options that were not linked to property values. All of these should be explored.

"A Royal Commission would allow a proper study of the current rating systems and look at other options for raising revenue,” concluded Mr Pedersen.

ENDS

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