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Baldock: UF launches plan for sleeker local govt

Baldock: UF launches plan for sleeker local government

United Future will push for the number of territorial authorities in New Zealand to be nearly halved, with a maximum of 40 by 2012, Larry Baldock announced today at the Local Government NZ annual conference in Christchurch.

Currently there are 74 territorial authorities and 12 regional councils. United Future wants no more than four authorities within each regional council, Mr Baldock said.

"This is about dealing to the over-governing of this country, which we must remember is a small nation with big government," Mr Baldock said.

United Future would also push for a referendum on extending the electoral term for local authorities to four years from 2010.

"Again, this is about how we can get things moving more efficiently," he said.

United Future would also move for the completion of the review of local government funding, with a specific emphasis on new sources of funding for local authorities to reduce dependence on property rates.

"For example, we would look at redistributing a small percentage of GST revenue on a regional basis," he said.

United Future remained committed to its ongoing campaign to increase the financial assistance rate for local roads to 80% and to have GST removed from rates - "we are talking about a tax on a tax, and United Future will continue to fight what is essentially unfair and unjust."

ENDS

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