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Independent Inquiry Called For


Call for inquiry to focus on controls on local government activities

Business NZ, with the support of a number of other prominent business organisations, has written to the Minister of Local Government, asking that an independent inquiry recently announced by the Government include a review of the purpose statement of the Local Government Act 2002, specifically the reference to local authorities promoting “the social, economic, environmental, and cultural well-being of communities”.

Chief Executive Phil O’Reilly said that along with the other business organisations, Business NZ believes that the Act’s purpose statement should require Councils to be more sharply focused on the provision of core local authority services that are uneconomic or that the private sector cannot provide.

Chief Executive Phil O’Reilly says businesses pay around half of all rates in New Zealand.

“Councils sometimes stray outside their core areas of responsibility, even running enterprises in competition with local businesses. We believe this is one reason why recent Council rate rises have been so steep.

The business organisations are also calling for the inquiry to include representatives of all stakeholders including business, and to seek public submissions.

Ends

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