Local Government NZ Farewells Minister Lee
Local Government New Zealand Farewells Minister Lee
17 June 2002
Basil Morrison, President of Local Government New Zealand, today farewelled the outgoing Minister Sandra Lee and said she had made a hugely significant contribution to the communities of New Zealand in her time as Minister of Local Government.
“[Ms Lee] Sandra has shown tremendous leadership and focus as the Minister of Local Government and has certainly worked with us in a way that has made central/local government partnership a reality”, Mr Morrison said.
“Sandra’s biggest contribution might not be visible to the people of New Zealand yet but will lead to major changes in local government legislation that essentially enables local communities to be significantly strengthened. The new Local Government Bill, in particular, will enable local government to respond to communities without the unnecessary constraints that have tied us up in the past”, he said.
Mr Morrison paid tribute to the hard work and long hours the Minister had put into the portfolio to see major legislation such as the Rating Act and the Electoral Act passed and now the Local Government Bill having reached the Select Committee stage.
“Many people think local government is, perhaps, a dull backwater portfolio but this Minister, more than any other in recent history, has recognised the importance that local government has in the lives of every individual in New Zealand and the importance of having local government that is both more flexible and more accessible to community needs.”
Mr Morrison said he and Sandra Lee had worked together from as far back as the 1980s when Ms Lee was the first female County ‘Chairman’. “Sandra is going to be a great loss to the Parliament and to the people she represented, but also a loss to the sector and our communities. Her advocacy will be well remembered and I, we all, wish her well in her retirement”.