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Local Government Petition Presented Today


Local Government Petition Presented Today

Federated Farmers together with the Local Government Forum has collected 5571 signatures requesting that Government undertake an integrated first-principles review of the functions, powers, and funding of local authorities, involving representatives from local and central government, business organisations, and ratepayer groups.

Federated Farmers Vice President Charlie Pedersen and members of the Local Government Forum presented a petition to Stop the Local Government Bill to United Future New Zealand Leader Peter Dunne today.

"Thousands of farmers at short notice and at the busiest time of the farming year have taken this unprecedented move to express their deep concern about the Local Government Bill, said Mr Pedersen.

"Farmers, urban based businesses and those on fixed incomes are all rightly concerned about the Bill's proposed Power of General Competence which will empower Councils to promote "social, economic, environmental, and cultural well-being" without any definitions about what this means.

"I hope Government will take cognisance of the very real concerns of farmers, the business community, and ratepayer groups.

"The Government seems determined to introduce a 21st century regime for Local Government based on a 17th century funding base. After cosy discussions with Council employees and Local Government New Zealand it seems to be prepared to push ahead despite the overwhelming opposition of business and ratepayer groups.

"Unless this Bill is stopped, or the system of rating is changed to protect ratepayers from spiralling cost increases, the situation will get worse rather than better."


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