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Hide an excellent choice for Local Government

16th November 2008

Rodney Hide an excellent choice for Minister of Local Government.

Statement from David Thornton

I very much welcome the appointment of Rodney Hide as Minister of Local Government.

Mr Hide's efforts on behalf of ratepayers with his Rates Capping Bill in 2006 highlighted the need for restraint of local council expenditure and the unsustainability of the council rating system.

Although that Rates Capping Bill was defeated in Parliament, it was the trigger for the Rates Inquiry which was set up and which reported to the Government in August of last year.

Unfortunately neither central governemnt nor individual councils have made much progress in responding adequately to the 96 recommendations in the Rates Inquiry Report.

With the appointment of Rodney Hide there is every prospect of speedy action in the critical area of council funding.

On a wider perpective Mr Hide's well-known interest in local democracy will stand him in good stead when he receives the report of the Royal Commission on Auckland Governance in March next year.

I have every confidence that Rodney Hide will bring a breath of fresh air to a local government sector with which the public have grown increasingly disenchanted.

ENDS

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