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Minister Must Act On Rodney Problems

ACT is calling on the Minister of Local Government, Sandra Lee, to take urgent action over the deteriorating Rodney District Council saga..

Local Government Spokesman, Owen Jennings, today sought a snap debate in Parliament on the issue following the resignation of Rodney's Mayor and five councillors yesterday.

"The Minister is hiding behind some of the provisions of the Local Government Act requiring consultation before a Commissioner can be appointed. She can't wait any longer.

"A new crisis has arisen with the mass resignations and the Minister's continuing silence is unacceptable.

"The people of Rodney deserve better. In the interests of democracy and proper process the Minister must show some leadership. The situation potentially now exists for Mr Ross Meurant and his supporters who remain councillors, to make appointments to fill the vacancies left by those who resigned, and ensure they fully control the Council.

"Such an abuse of the democratic process by one whose actions were described by the Review Authority as 'inappropriate, disrespectful of his colleagues and management and may be considered to be morally or legally questionable' is not tolerable.

"The Minister's inaction leaves Rodney in limbo at an important stage of the District's development. Council staff, including the Chief Executive and particularly the ratepayer/residents need some decisive action from the Minister," said Owen Jennings.


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