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Crown takeover must have clear boundaries

3 July 2013

Crown takeover must have clear boundaries

The Crown Manager’s terms of reference must clearly ensure that their powers are restricted to the issue of building consents and not other council business, the Green Party said today.

The Christchurch City Council has announced that Chief Executive Tony Marryatt is taking leave and that a Crown Manager will be appointed to address the ongoing issue of building consents being processed by the Council.

“The Crown Manager's tenure must be limited to the time it takes to ensure that systems are in place to regain accreditation, and no longer,” said Green Party Christchurch spokesperson Eugenie Sage.

“I am disappointed that this consents issue, while crucial to the rebuild, has resulted in further erosion of democracy and constraining of the Council’s independence.

“This is the first time that these new government powers will be used, so we need transparency and openness about the process. The people of Christchurch need to be assured that the issue is being handled properly and that they aren’t losing their local decision making to Wellington.

“The Mayor has been playing down the significance of this consents issue for a long time but it is crucial to the City’s rebuild and needs to be seriously tackled.

“The Crown Manager has substantial powers under the changes that the National Government made to the Local Government Act late last year. These powers allow the Crown Manager to direct the Council itself, not just the staff.”

ENDS

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