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Local Government Bill Process a Travesty

3 October 2002

Local Government Bill Process a Travesty

If Government proceeds with the Local Government Bill in the face of overwhelming opposition from business and many other community and ratepayer groups, it will be a travesty of the democratic process, Rob McLagan, Chairman of the Local Government Forum told the Local Government and Environment Select committee today.

The Forum's major concerns relate to the proposed expanded purposes of local government, in particular the proposed power of general competence, the lack of effective checks and balances on local government and the absence of effective financial discipline on excessive spending. These serious defects in the bill will inevitably result in even greater increases in rates.

"Local Government New Zealand told the Select Committee today that there was no rush to proceed with the Bill. So any pressure for the early adoption of the Bill has gone, said Mr McLagan.

"Extending the purpose of local government will make it more difficult to reach business and Government's objective of returning New Zealand to the top half of the OECD. Only by doing this can New Zealand provide the level of health and education services the country expects."

ENDS


The Local Government Forum consists of the Forest Owners Association, Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc), Business New Zealand, the Business Roundtable and the Property Council of New Zealand.


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