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New information on councils through new website

16 Aug 2005

New information on councils through new website

Ratepayers around the country will have access to new information about their local council through a new website launched today by Local Government Minister Chris Carter.

The site, www.localcouncils.govt.nz, will include detailed information from Statistics New Zealand and the Department of Internal Affairs, much of which has not been available to the public before. The information covers a wide range of areas from council activities and structures, election statistics, community profiles,
council expenditure, debt, and sources of income.

"Local government is an important feature of all our lives. It helps to shape the communities we live in. The Labour-Progressive government believes local people deserve to have the opportunity to influence local decisions about their community, and this website is about providing the public and councils with more accessible information with which to form opinions," Mr Carter said.

The website will initially offer 17 information profiles for each of New Zealand's 86 regional and territorial councils. Overtime, the information available will increase.

"The government wants to better equip communities with the tools needed for them to participate more fully in New Zealand's system of local democracy. Ultimately, we want people to be able to use this website to place the activities of their council in a wider national context, and we want councils to be able to use it to get a better sense of what other councils are doing, " Mr Carter said.

"The website builds on the requirements in the Local Government Act 2002 for greater transparency at a local council level. I would encourage individuals, ratepayer associations, business groups, and councils all over New Zealand to make use of its content."

ENDS

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