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Mega Councils In The Mix

7 September 2006

Mega Councils In The Mix

New Zealand First says that a meeting between the four biggest city councils in Auckland signals that the conversation about the number and functions of councils is being taken seriously by central and local government.

“The meeting is about the feasibility of restructuring Auckland into a super city, but the questions about local government apply to all cities and regions,” said Local Government spokesperson Brian Donnelly.

“As with the debate over rates, the central issues in this discussion centre on the provision of quality service for ratepayers and how best to achieve that, bearing in mind that there should be limits on non-core activities which add to the rates burden.

“New Zealand First’s policy includes encouraging communities of interest to explore the viability of merging some local body entities in the interests of getting better value for money for ratepayers, and reducing the layers of bureaucracy which have increasingly been superimposed onto local government.

“It’s also important that all decisions on local government be based on the concept that local democracy means local decisions made in consultation with ratepayers and citizens.

“It’s natural that councils will evolve, and it’s therefore sensible to plan how they will evolve,” said Mr Donnelly.

ENDS

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