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Don Brash congratulates new mayors and councillors

Don Brash congratulates new mayors and councillors

National Party Leader Don Brash says he is looking forward to working with the newly elected councils around New Zealand to help get rates down for ratepayers.

“I congratulate all those successful candidates throughout the country and send my best wishes to those who were not successful.

“I’m looking forward to meeting the new mayors over the coming weeks and hearing their concerns about their communities. I’m particularly keen to learn more about Dick Hubbard’s vision for Auckland, and I also expect to be seeking updates from those who are returning to office.

“The National Party wants to work with councils to ensure ratepayers get efficient services at least cost. We want to work together on reducing the burden on local governments of central government legislation.

“To help reach that end, we are proposing establishing a joint working party between Local Government New Zealand and an incoming National Government to review the full range of local government legislation,” Dr Brash says.

According to Statistics New Zealand figures, there was a 10.4% increase in local government rates in the year to June 2004, the first full year of operation of the new Local Government Act.

“By a large margin, this increase is the biggest for any year in the last 10 years. The 10.4% increase is more than four times the increase in the Consumer Price Index for the same period, of 2.4%.

“This increase is simply not acceptable. It is making budgeting for families on fixed incomes more difficult and it is undermining the competitiveness of New Zealand businesses.

“Central and local government have to do better,” says Dr Brash.

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