Review Is About 'Clarity - Not Clout'
Local Government New Zealand today warmly welcomed the Government’s release of its consultation document “Reviewing the Local Government Act 1974’ and said the review was about clarity - not clout - for the local government sector.
President of Local Government New Zealand, Basil Morrison, said this review was the single most important issue for local government since the reforms of 1989. “The current legislation has been a hugely limiting factor for councils and communities because of its complexity and the piecemeal way it has evolved over the past 27 years. What the sector has been seeking is legislative clarity and we have high expectations that the current review will deliver this.”
“The principle of recognising that communities are different and require flexible approaches to achieve their goals is fundamental to this review and we applaud the more enabling approach that is being promoted.”
Other areas Local Government New Zealand emphasise are important that the review deliver on are:
- providing a way for better co-ordination between central and local government
- clarification of the Treaty relationship and role in local government
- a reduction in compliance costs.
Mr Morrison said that local government had welcomed the unique collaborative process of developing the consultation document. “While the final policy proposal remains a central government one, the input of local government in its development exemplifies the “partnership’ that central government sees as being crucial to deliver its own goals and priorities well.”
“However”, said Mr Morrison, “this does not mean that Local Government New Zealand can yet say that all the recommendations outlined will be embraced by the sector fully. We will have to speak to all 86 of our member councils and they, in turn, have to listen to their communities before making a submission on the content of the review document. This process will include discussions around the country as well as being the focus of our national conference in mid-July.”