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



Closing Schools And Such: Interim Redcliffs Decision Announced

“While the school’s board has argued that circumstances that could give rise to potential disruption are extremely unlikely, advice from technical experts has shown these concerns cannot be ruled out." More>>


Jane Kelsey: High Court Can’t Make Groser Provide TPPA Information Faster

‘This week we went back to court to challenge Trade Minister Groser’s stalling tactics over the release of information on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement negotiations, following a High Court order that he reconsider the Official Information Act request I made last January’, said University of Auckland law professor Jane Kelsey, first applicant in the case. More>>

Werewolf 58: No Climate For Change

The last time the global community tried to take collective action on climate change the world’s leaders finally came to agree that every not-too-onerous effort should be made to hold global warming to 2°C above the pre-industrial average. At Paris, all 150 participant countries nations will have put forward their pledges... On the information available, New Zealand's is the second weakest contribution of any nation in the developed world. More>>


Lambton Quay Shutdown: Object Was Made To Look Like Bomb

Police cordoned off part of Lambton Quay Wednesday afternoon, saying that a suspicious package had been found. Buildings were evacuated and buses were detoured. The army’s explosive ordnance disposal unit was brought to the Quay. More>>


Public Sector Still Shrinking: Record Low Number Of 'Backroom Bureaucrats'

Ongoing restraint in the public sector and a focus on better frontline services has seen a further reduction in the number of core Government employees, State Services Minister Paula Bennett says. More>>


Disobeying The Law: Police Censorship Of Crime Research “An Outrage”

The Green Party is calling on Police Minister Michael Woodhouse to ensure Police scrap controversial contracts that place onerous restrictions on academic researchers’ access to Police data, the Green Party says. More>>


Q+A Transcript: Groser ‘Not Expecting’ Failure At UN Climate Talks

‘I will be very surprised if we don’t get an agreement. I think it’s a completely different situation to Copenhagen for a number of reasons. We’ve got a much more realistic negotiating proposal on the table. Secondly, I think the science has strengthened...’ More>>


Greenpeace Protest:

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news