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

 


Local Government changes ignore needs of provincial NZ

Clare
CURRAN
Dunedin South MP
David
CLARK
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.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Parliament Today:

Werewolf: The Defence Pretence

Last year, the world began spending more money on weapons again, for the first time since 2011... New Zealand belongs to a region – Asia and Oceania – where military spending rose sharply in 2015, by 5.4 per cent. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Not Crying Foul, Argentina

So a couple of guys found to be criminally liable of environmental pollution in Argentina lodge an application with the Overseas Investment Office… in order to buy some prime New Zealand rural land. Seems that their factory back home had carelessly and/or intentionally discharged toxic waste into the Lujan river. Bummer... More>>

ALSO:

Urban & Rural: $303m To Merge And Modernise New Zealand’s Fire Services

Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne today announced funding of $303 million over five years to combine urban and rural fire services into one organisation from mid-2017. More>>

ALSO:

High Trust Regime: What Did The PM Tell His Lawyer About Foreign Trusts?

The Government stopped the IRD from reviewing New Zealand foreign trusts shortly after the Prime Minister’s lawyer wrote to the Revenue Minister claiming John Key had promised him the regime would not be changed. More>>

ALSO:

Road Crime: Wicked Campers Vans Classified As Objectionable

The definition of publication includes any "thing that has printed or impressed upon it, or otherwise shown upon it, 1 or more (or a combination of 1 or more) images, representations, signs, statements, or words", The Classification Office has previously classified such 'things' as billboards, t-shirts, and even a drink can. This is the first time the Classification Office has classified a vehicle. More>>

ALSO:

'When New' Repairs: Landmark EQC Settlement

The Earthquake Commission has cut a deal with 98 Canterbury homeowners that affirms the government entity's responsibility to repair earthquake-damaged property to a 'when new' state, as well as covering repairs for undamaged parts of a property and clarifying its position on cash settlement calculations. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Kiwirail’s Latest Stint In The Dogbox

The denigration of Kiwirail continues. The latest review (based on a 2014 assessment) of the options facing the company have enabled Kiwirail to be hung out to dry once again as a liability and burden on the taxpayer. More>>

ALSO:

Royal Society Report: Good Opportunities To Act Now On Climate Change

There are many actions New Zealand can and should take now to reduce the threat of climate change and transition to a low-carbon economy, a report released today by the Royal Society of New Zealand finds... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news