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Minister welcomes inquiry into Mangawhai

Hon Chris Tremain
Minister of Local Government

3 December 2013

Minister welcomes inquiry into Mangawhai

Local government Minister Chris Tremain today welcomed the release of the Auditor-General’s inquiry into the Mangawhai waste water scheme as a step forward in restoring local democracy in Kaipara.

“The report identifies many failures in the governance and management of the council but does not identify any case of fraud or illegal activity. I have asked my officials to take a detailed look at the report to identify what further actions (if any) should be taken,” says Mr Tremain.

“The Commissioners I appointed have made huge progress to getting the council back onto a strong footing. I have confidence in the Commissioners to turn the council around.

“I am focussed on making sure this situation does not happen again. The Government now has new intervention powers and financial prudence measures have been introduced. A bill before Parliament will also bring new requirements for infrastructure strategies. These changes will provide more transparency about council performance and make it easier for central government to provide early assistance before large problems arise.

“The Department of Internal Affairs has set up a new team to monitor and advise on performance issues in the local government sector. This work includes actively getting to know each council: its local context, its challenges and opportunities.

“The report has highlighted the need for better liaison between various agencies dealing with Local Government issues. The establishment of a new cross government secretariat in the Department of Internal Affairs will help address this.

“Local Government New Zealand is also taking steps to improve the performance of councils. LGNZ is running intensive training programmes for its members and will soon introduce a centre of excellence focussed on best practice to assist the sector on financial effectiveness and value.”

ENDS

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