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Govt too busy for briefings on Local Govt Bill

Gerry Brownlee
National Local Government Spokesperson

11 December 2002

Govt too busy for briefings on Local Govt Bill

The Government intends to ram through the Local Government Bill before Christmas despite growing opposition among local bodies and business, says National Local Government Spokesperson Gerry Brownlee.

"Prime Minister Helen Clark refused to meet with the Local Government Forum to discuss its concerns because "she hasn't got time to meet with every lobby group" her yet again stand-in leader Michael Cullen told Parliament today.

"The Prime Minister has sent the Forum packing and suggested it meets with the Local Government Minister. 'Well, the Forum has tried to make an appointment with Minister Chris Carter, but as of early November, he was too busy to see them until the New Year.

"The Government doesn't have time to hear what people think of its flawed and politically correct policy, and it wants to push it through before anyone else can have a say.

"This Bill will cost ratepayers more because of its provisions for excessive consultation with Maori, it includes unnecessary Maori wards, and it continues to have the contentious power of general competence clause.

"It is obviously too embarrassing for the Government to meet with people like the Local Government Forum who will point out these flaws," Mr Brownlee said.

Ends

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