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Bill would put local govt structure to vote

John Key

National Party MP for Helensville

John Carter

National Party Local Government Spokesman

7 September 2006

Bill would put Auckland local govt structure to vote

A Member’s Bill in the name of Helensville MP John Key would let Aucklanders decide whether the current local government structure is right for the city.

The bill, which goes into the Members’ ballot today, establishes a taskforce that would develop a plan to reform local government in greater Auckland. The proposal would be put to a referendum during the 2007 local body elections.

“This bill is about delivering a world-class local government structure for Auckland,” says Mr Key.

“It is critical for New Zealand that Auckland has the world-class infrastructure and services of cities like Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane so it can attract and keep businesses and skilled workers. And it is critical for New Zealand that Auckland is successful.

“The need for local government reform in Auckland is urgent, and National has taken the bull by the horns with this legislation.

“Labour’s half-hearted attempts to address chaos in transport through its Auckland Regional Transport Authority have proven to be a flop. This bill sets out to address those issues,” says Mr Key.

National’s Local Government spokesman, John Carter, says the bill shows that National has a willingness to engage with local communities, who know best about the solutions.

“It is a blueprint for consultation on local government reform.

“Rather than secret mayoral meetings about the future shape of Auckland’s local government structure, ratepayers would welcome the opportunity to learn more about the pros and cons of merging – and a chance to vote on any proposed structure.”

Ends

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