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Local Govt Welcomes Inquiry


Local Government New Zealand to work with the Government on the independent rates inquiry

23 August 2006

Local Government New Zealand‘s President Basil Morrison has welcomed the Government’s intention to conduct a principled and comprehensive inquiry into rates.

“I am reassured by the independent nature of the proposed inquiry, free from some of the more extreme solutions expressed recently, such as rate-capping.

“An independent inquiry provides an opportunity to fully investigate the funding issues affecting local government and it allows us to represent the views of our member councils. The issues surrounding rates and various rating systems are complex and require a comprehensive evaluation free of political influence.”

Local Government New Zealand is pleased this inquiry will also consider the work of the joint Central Government/Local Authority funding project.

From a local government perspective any review must respect the fundamental principles of local democracy:

- the accountability of locally elected politicians to their voters should not be undermined
- the autonomy of local government to respond to community preferences in a flexible manner must be respected
- local leadership and the role of local government in future economic development of New Zealand must be respected.

“We look forward to working with the Government on the inquiry’s terms of reference,” said Mr Morrison.

ENDS

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