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Ministers to meet with Auckland Mayoral Forum

22 June 2000
Media Statement

Govt ministers to meet with Auckland Mayoral Forum

Prime Minister Helen Clark and five other ministers will meet with the Auckland Mayoral Forum tomorrow.

"The Coalition's commitment to partnership with local government is strong. It marks a distinct change from the approach of the previous government which only engaged local government when giving it instructions and ultimata," Helen Clark said today.

"In March the government broke new ground by jointly convening with Local Government NZ a forum to discuss the issues central and local government need to work on together. That forum will meet twice a year.

"The meeting with Auckland's local government leaders' meeting has been convened in the same spirit. Central government and Auckland's civic and regional leaders need to work closely together.

"Other ministers attending the forum with be Social Services Minister Steve Maharey, Local Government Minister Sandra Lee, Environment Minister Marian Hobbs, Transport Minister Mark Gosche, and Minister assisting the Prime Minister on Auckland Issues Judith Tizard.

"Auckland's size and rapid growth mean that it faces development issues on a unique scale. It is important that central government's policies are responsive to Auckland's needs – as indeed they must be responsive to the differing needs of all regions.

"Already government has demonstrated its willingness to help find solutions to to the new issues with which the Auckland region is grappling.

"Earlier this month the arbitrary caps on passenger service grants, and on capital funding for alternatives to roading, were lifted. These moves will allow central government subsidies on public transport to rise as patronage of those services grows.

"In simple terms, the more people Auckland's local authorities can encourage to use public transport, the greater the funding flow to Auckland's public transport will be.

"Tomorrow's meeting with the Mayoral Forum is an opportunity to review progress and ensure co-ordination on key Auckland issues, such as the Auckland Regional Growth Strategy.

"The government's commitment to closing the gaps between Maori and Pacific peoples and other New Zealanders has a particular resonance for Auckland – New Zealand's most multi-cultural region.

"The government's move to reinstate income-related rentals for state house tenants is a major step towards alleviating poverty for many Aucklanders, where market rents are beyond the reach of low income people.

"Tomorrow's meeting with the Mayoral Forum will do the groundwork for further co-ordinated action between central government and the leaders of New Zealand's most populous region," Helen Clark said.


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