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National On Local Government

9th July 2002

A National Government will continue a partnership approach with local bodies, and work to ensure services provided by central Government, regional councils and local territorial authorities are not duplicated, says National's Local Government spokesman Alec Neill.

"National believes the Local Government Amendment Bill needs some changes before it achieves its goal of simplifying the current legislation.

"National opposes including a Treaty of Waitangi clause in the Local Government Bill. The Government wants local bodies to "recognise and respect the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi," yet it can't actually define what those principles are.

"We agree with Local Government New Zealand that this is neither the time or place to introduce Maori wards or constituencies.

"National will reinstate the non-resident franchise allowing non-resident ratepayers the right to vote in elections. And we will allow commercial tenants the right to receive rates and be responsible for rate payment. This right was removed by the current Government.

"Local Government has a key role in community well-being and development. National wants to make sure that role continues," said Mr Neill.


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