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Iwi Consultation Spend-up Outrageous

Iwi Consultation Spend-up Outrageous

Monday 12 Jul 2004 Ken Shirley Press Releases -- Other

Wellington ratepayers should be outraged that their councils have spent over $1 million consulting iwi over the last three years and, as a consequence, must hold their elected representatives to account in this year's local government elections, ACT New Zealand Local Government Spokesman Ken Shirley said today.

"Amendments to the Local Government Act - introduced by the Labour Government - have imposed very expensive and spurious obligations on local government, but too many councils have failed to use commonsense and exercise constraint," Mr Shirley said.

"All interested groups in society should participate actively in local government and councils should listen and consult with the community. The problem with iwi consultation is that Labour has singled out one group based on their race and passed a law for mandatory consultation.

"This has led to the establishment of a self-perpetuating industry where ratepayers are expected to pay for the input of Maori representatives when all other groups meet their own costs.

"Not only are ratepayers paying for Maori input but in addition, in the example of the Wellington region, a third of the million dollars was spent on administration of the iwi consultation.

"I am writing to all councils to determine the overall cost of iwi consultation which inevitably must be in the tens of millions of dollars," Mr Shirley said.

ENDS

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.


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