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Complaint regarding the Auckland Regional Council

Complaint regarding the Auckland Regional Council

Local Government Minister Chris Carter confirmed today that he had received a request from a member of the public to formally intervene in the operations of the Auckland Regional Council.

"This kind of request is not unsual. Members of the public make them about councils all over the country from time to time," Mr Carter said.

"There is a process that is gone through in which the local government unit of the Department of Internal Affairs assesses the validity of the request in relation to the statutory criteria for intervention. DIA then makes a recommendation to me about whether the matter needs to be investigated more closely.

"The request for intervention in the ARC is at the assessment stage only. This means only that a complaint has been made and nothing more. I will make a decision on whether further steps are necessary once I have all the facts. Only at that point will intervention be considered."

Mr Carter said his powers as Local Government Minister to intervene in a council's affairs were set out in legislation and limited.

"The legislation sets a very high threshold for council mismanagement that must be reached before a Minister of Local Government can even consider intervening. It has only been met once in about 25 years."

The Local Government Act requires:

that there has been a significant or persistent failure by the local authority to meet its obligations under this Act or any other enactment; or that there has been significant and identifiable mismanagement of the resources of the local authority; or that there is a significant and identifiable deficiency in the management or decision-making processes of the local authority.

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