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Local government moves an outrage

Media release 13 September 2002

Local government moves an outrage

Business NZ says it is an outrage that the Local Government Bill is continuing to proceed in the new Parliament despite the fact that a virtually new select committee is now considering the Bill.

Chief Executive Simon Carlaw says it's important that the new committee hear the concerns of principal submitters especially Business NZ, the Local Government Forum and the Local Government Commission.

Mr Carlaw says there has never been any proper consultation with business or industry since the Bill was introduced, despite the fact that business pays slightly over half the total rates bill.

"This legislation has the capacity to significantly increase the costs of local government and over time, stifle the Government's own growth objectives," Mr Carlaw said.

"For the Bill to proceed against the concerns of numerous small businesses who will bear the financial brunt, makes a mockery of the Government's proclamation of partnership and consultation with business.

"Business and farming groups including Business NZ, Federated Farmers, the NZ Business Roundtable and the Local Government Forum disagree strongly with the fact that the only parties advising the new select committee are government officials who we understand are now trying to bring new briefing material to the select committee on uncontested basis.

"Wider advice and more reflection are urgently called for."

ENDS


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