General Competence Has Arrived In Auckland
ACT Local Government Spokesman Gerry Eckhoff said today it appears that `general competence' has arrived at the Auckland City Council - though in a form unintended by this Government.
"Sandra Lee is determined to enforce `powers of general competence' for local bodies. At the moment councils can't do anything, or spend money on anything unless they can specifically point to a rule which lets them. The `powers of general competence' will reverse this, meaning that the councils and their officials can make you do anything they want, or spend your money on any pet project - if YOU can't point to any rule which specifically says they can't.
"However Auckland's new Mayor John Banks is demonstrating that the right attitude is more effective than legislation.
"His decision to cut unnecessary expenditure comes as a breath of fresh air and contrasts with an often seen attitude from councils of clamouring for more power and more authority to spend.
"Councils throughout the country should follow Mayor Banks example of intended frugality with ratepayers' money.
"We all know of ratepayers' money wasted on political vanity projects. Under Sandra Lee's intended powers of competence we will see councillors who could never persuade investors or business people voluntarily to entrust them with management of a business, with new fields in which to squander uncontrolled borrowings and ratepayers' savings.
"The actions of Mayor Banks show quite clearly that the powers of general competence are totally unnecessary and the Government should now call a halt to implementing them," Gerry Eckhoff said.