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New era for local government in New Zealand

20 December 2002 Media Statement

New era for local government in New Zealand


Local Government Minister Chris Carter welcomed the start of a fresh era for New Zealand's city, district and regional councils today after Parliament passed the new Local Government Bill.

"The Bill was passed this morning after more than two years in gestation. This is a great day for communities everywhere who will have more voice in their local government, and more opportunity to ensure their needs are met," Mr Carter said.

"An over haul of the previous Local Government Act was long overdue and I am confident the new Bill will have an immensely positive impact on New Zealand. It will allow communities to express their differences rather than restrict them in 'a one-size fits all' approach.

"I would like to thank everybody who had a role in the development of this legislation. I would particularly like to acknowledge my predecessor the Hon Sandra Lee who shepherded the Bill through to its initial select committee stages," Mr Carter said.

"I'm pleased to note that the 'crusade' against the legislation launched by the National Party at the ninth hour amounted to a handful of poorly attended public meetings and a couple of oral questions in Parliament."

"This reflects the fact that the Local Government Bill is responsible, well thought out legislation."

Mr Carter said most provisions of the Bill would come into effect from July 2003. However, some parts, such as those relating to community consultation, would take effect as soon as it received royal assent.

"Local government is well prepared for this legislation and I am sure the transition to it will be competently managed."

ENDS

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