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Local Government NZ Welcomes Second Leg

Local Government New Zealand Welcomes Second Leg Of The Reform Trifecta

For immediate release on 27 March 2002

The enactment today of the Local Government (Rating) Bill will be welcomed by local communities.

Local Government New Zealand President Basil Morrison says the first two legs of the local government reform trifecta are now in and the third leg – the new Local Government Bill - is keenly awaited.

Mr Morrison says that the new Rating Act will provide local communities with a lot more scope to develop local solutions to local funding problems.

“The new Act does not create a vehicle to raise more revenue but rather provides Councils with a way to achieve greater equity and fairness in rating systems. The changes in this Act go a significant way towards addressing these historical and current inequities.

I am pleased the Government gave the Act such a high priority.

This Act is a good example of the local-central government partnership in action. While we haven’t agreed on every issue – the end result is one that both Local Government New Zealand and the Government can be proud of.

We also have to thank the Local Government Select Committee for taking the time to listen to our concerns and address most of them.”

Mr Morrison says that there are still some funding issues to be addressed.

He says that there is still much to do in the area of council funding and the Government must not ‘rest on its laurels’.

“There is the Government’s manifesto commitment to introduce a regime of contributions in lieu of rates for Crown land, which we understand is ‘in the pipeline’”.

Mr Morrison says the Government has previously said it intends to take a first principles look at the way Maori contributes to the cost of local services once the relationship between local government and the Treaty is clarified.

END

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