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Consultation Process For Local Government Reforms

Government Announces Extensive Consultation Process For Local Government Reforms

Local Government Minister Sandra Lee has announced that a public consultation document on the Review of the Local Government Act will be launched next month.

"Public participation is a key part of the review process," Me Lee said. "The Department of Internal Affairs will be running a nationwide consultation programme to encourage people to take an active part in the process and to make submissions on the options in the review."

Ms Lee said the options document will cover a range of policy issues that have been considered by the Government over recent months. Issues included would range from whether there should be a broadly empowering provision as the cornerstone of the new legislation, through to the nature of the decision making processes and accountability requirements that should be put in place.

She said the document would be mailed directly to a wide range of individuals and organisations who have an interest in the existing Local Government Act, and any one else who wants a copy. The mailing lists are currently being developed in consultation with Local Government New Zealand and the local government sector.

Ms Lee said consultation meetings will target the general public, the local government sector, Maori, Pacific Island and ethnic communities.

The mailing outs will include the document itself, an executive summary, and information about public meetings at which DIA staff will facilitate discussion about the review. The consultation meetings will also be advertised in newspapers and on radio.

The consultation phase is designed to raise awareness and understanding of the proposed direction for local government, seek feedback on specific proposals and options, and ensure that important issues have been identified.

Once the document is released the public will have until 30 August 2001 to have their say.

Once the options document is launched, Local Government New Zealand will brief local authority Mayors, Chairs and chief executives to give an overview of the Review consultation document.

LGNZ workshops, in turn, will ensure that delegates attending the Local Government New Zealand Conference on 16-18 July 2001 are well briefed and prepared to enter the national debate on the proposed changes and to help draft a sector submission.

The Department of Internal Affairs welcomes suggestions about other target groups who may be interested in public meetings, or who can be reached by direct mail, email or other appropriate means.


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