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Bill the third leg of an expensive trifecta

Local Government Bill the third leg of an expensive trifecta

"The Local Government Bill remains seriously flawed and will inevitably result in higher costs to businesses and indeed to all New Zealanders", said Simon Carlaw, Chief Executive of Business New Zealand.

Mr Carlaw was commenting on today's report of the Local Government and Environment Select Committee, which has spent the past year hearing submissions and deliberating on the Bill.

"Despite strong opposition, the Select Committee majority has reported the Bill back to Parliament largely unchanged. Most notably, the Bill remains the combination of a power of general competence and a wide-ranging purpose statement requiring councils to actively encourage social, economic, environmental and cultural well-being. It also reduces current efficiency requirements.

"Over the past decade, rates have increased at over twice the rate of inflation and it is hard to see how this Bill would in any way address this critical issue by watering down consultation provisions or restoring voting rights that should never have been removed.

"With ratification of the Kyoto Protocol and the scheduled passage of the Health and Safety legislation, the report back of the Local Government Bill makes for an expensive trifecta.

"How the Government plans to encourage New Zealand businesses towards 4% growth with steps such as these remains a mystery," concluded Mr Carlaw.

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