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Long-awaited local government reforms closer

Introduction of long-awaited local government reforms closer after 50% policy advice funding boost

The Minister of Local Government Hon Sandra Lee says the Government has moved to kick start long-awaited local authority reforms, with a 50% boost in Budget funding for local government policy advice.

Ms Lee has advised the Auckland Mayoral Forum today of an increase in government spending of nearly a million dollars for 2000/2001 to fund this policy advice.

"The new funding will enable the Government to advance several key projects during the next 12 months including the progressing of a review and a rewrite of the Local Government Act 1974, the main legislation governing local authorities," she said.

Other major local government policy projects include a review of the Local Elections and Polls Act 1976 which will address the STV optional choice for local authorities.

"These were some of the projects identified at the inaugural Local Government Forum earlier this year between central and local government as issues of shared importance, " Ms Lee said.

"The Government's desire to forge a strong working partnership with local government is underlined by our decision to commit resources to the policymaking process."

"Just over $2.8m has been committed for the 2000/2001 year compared with $1.836m for the previous year," she said. "The injection of funds is good news not only for the Department of Internal Affairs which will have its capacity enhanced, but for the entire local government sector."

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