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Don't be duped Brownlee tells ratepayers

Gerry Brownlee National Local Government Spokesman

21 November 2002

Don't be duped Brownlee tells ratepayers

The National Party's accusing some Councils of failing to protect their ratepayers from the fall-out from the Local Government Bill.

"I find it just incredible that local Mayors are unaware of the far reaching impact of this bill, " says National Local Government spokesman Gerry Brownlee.

"I believe Mayors who've dismissed our concerns, are failing in their obligations to ratepayers and I'm amazed this legislation doesn't appear to have been properly read," Mr Brownlee says.

"Councillors who have read this Bill can not possibly support it, if they're truly working for the best interests of their respective communities.

"I challenge any council to guarantee to their ratepayers that the consequences of this bill won't be rates rises in the next five years," Mr Brownlee says.

"I know this Bill, and I can tell you that the National Party believes this is the biggest constitutional change since the introduction of MMP.

"It gives new concessions to Maori and has the potential to paralyse the decision making process of local authorities," says Mr Brownlee.

"I'm looking forward to explaining National's position and further outlining the detail of this Bill at a series of public meetings in the main centres over the next three weeks.

"I'm extending a warm invitation to councillors and ratepayers confused about the content of the Local Government Bill, or anyone unsure about what it means to each and every one of us," Mr Brownlee says.

Ends

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