Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Local Government changes ignore needs of provincial NZ

Dunedin South MP
Dunedin North MP

30 November 2012 MEDIA STATEMENT
Local Government changes ignore needs of provincial New Zealand

Changes to the Local Government Act passed through Parliament this week ignore the concerns and criticisms of provincial Mayors and councils says Labour MP Dr David Clark.

"The message from provincial leaders was that the changes in this Bill undermine the very viability of effective local government in provincial New Zealand.

“The select committee was told in no uncertain terms that the National Government's "one size fits all" approach will not deliver for the unique and diverse needs of the provinces.

Dunedin South Labour MP, Clare Curran concurs “That message has been ignored by Government.

“It is provincial and rural Councils that most need the flexibility that the existing law provided to respond to the special needs of small or isolated communities. For example the Ashburton District Council runs medical clinics in Rakaia and Methven – without the Council doing this those communities would have no access to health services,” she said.

"The National government claims that the changes, which include the removal of the social, cultural, environmental and economic “wellbeings” are needed to rein in out of control spending and debt amongst local authorities. However the figures they used as the basis for these claims were so dodgy that the Ministry had to remove them from its website,”

"Likewise claims that Local Government activities have expanded dramatically and driven up rates since Labour introduced the four well-beings are not borne out by the evidence.” Says Dr Clark

“The four well-beings have allowed each local authority to decide for themselves what the priorities are for their communities rather than have priorities dictated from Wellington.”

Clare Curran adds "The removal of the four well beings also threatens effective initiatives such as the Mayor’s Taskforce for Jobs which has done more to address rising youth unemployment than anything the Government has managed over the last four years.”

“Rates increases have been due to infrastructure demands on councils and requirements imposed on local government by central government without the associated funding attached.

"If the National Government are really concerned about rates increases then they should restore the funding for local roads that they sucked out of provincial New Zealand to pay for their uneconomic 'Roads of National Significance'.

We know local Government is not broken in New Zealand. The Government has rushed through changes that will gut local government, threaten local democracy, undermine investment in infrastructure, and do absolutely nothing to reduce rates. Once again the National Government is ignoring the needs of provincial New Zealand.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Minister of Finance: Plan Shows $100 Billion Infrastructure Projects

Finance Minister Bill English has today launched the Government’s Ten Year Capital Intentions Plan (CIP) which shows a pipeline of $100.9 billion worth of infrastructure projects over the next decade. More>>


Werewolf: Safe Landings Gordon Campbell on the safety challenge to the Wellington runway extension.

The safety-related legal challenge revolves around the size of the 90 metre long Runway End Safety Area (RESA) being proposed for the runway extension. More>>


Environment Commissioner: We Need To Work Together On Climate Change And Farming

“The debate around agricultural emissions and the ETS has been polarised for too long,” said the Commissioner. “But the ETS is not the only way forward – there are other things that can be done.” More>>


NZ Super Fund: Seeking To Put A Market Price On Climate Change

Oct. 19 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand Superannuation Fund says it will devise a set of rules to assess investment winners and losers under climate change, a strategy that could rule out fossil fuels or producers such as current portfolio member Exxon ... More>>


Rejuvenation: Parata Will Not Contest 2017 Election

Education Minister and National List MP Hekia Parata has today announced that she will not be contesting the next election. She advised the Prime Minister of her decision earlier this year. More>>

Prisons Grow: Government Approves Plans For Increased Prison Capacity

Despite significant progress in reducing crime the number of prisoners has increased faster than projected. This is because the proportion of offenders charged with serious crimes has risen, meaning more people are being remanded in custody and serving more of their sentences in prison. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Plastic Bag Activism, And Street Harassment

Amusing to see the Act Party experiencing another outbreak of young fogey-ism. What has aroused the ire of Act Leader David Seymour this time is the introduction of a Greens private members bill to the ballot process, calling for a 15 cents levy on plastic bags to reduce pollution. More>>


Unclear Weapons: US Navy Ship Cleared To Visit NZ For Navy's 75th

United States Navy ship, the USS Sampson, has been given clearance to visit New Zealand next month by Prime Minister John Key... “The process for considering the visit by the USS Sampson is the same as that used for all ships attending the International Naval Review." More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news