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LGNZ welcomes decision to restore casting vote

LGNZ welcomes decision to restore casting vote

25 June 2004

Local Government New Zealand thanks the Minister of Local Government, Hon Chris Carter, for persuading his colleagues to agree to restore the right of mayors and council chairs to use a casting vote.

“We are very pleased the Government has listened to local body concerns and restored the provision of a casting vote to break council deadlocks which was lost in the Local Government Act 2002,” said Local Government New Zealand’s President Basil Morrison.

The Select Committee considering amendments to the Act previously recommended only a partial restoration of the casting vote, proposing it be restricted to circumstances where a council had a legal obligation to make a decision by a certain date.

“In practical terms any mayor would have been very reluctant to use a casting vote in that situation without prior legal advice as to whether the vote would break the law. As our legal advisors indicated, the main beneficiaries of this approach would have been lawyers!

“Mayors and council chairs are accountable to their communities for how they exercise their casting vote and must ensure they exercise it responsibly and with full regard to its significance,” he said.

ENDS

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