Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Commissioners at Kaipara Council a sign of things to come



14th August 2012

MEDIA RELEASE

[statement from David Thornton]

Appointment of Commissioners to run Kaipara Council a sign of things to come.

New legislation will allow early intervention.

In the end the Kaipara Mayor and Council had no option other than to request the Government to take over and sort out its problems with bankruptcy-level debt and rates increase its ratepayers were unable or unwilling to pay.

The Commissioners will not have an easy task, faced as they are, with significant debt, guaranteed by the Councils power to levy sufficient rates income to repay and service that debt.

The best that ratepayers can hope for is that the debt can be rescheduled or replaced on terms which would allow a much longer repayment period, giving time for more development to occur, thus providing addition income from rates.

The Government has already stated it will not use taxpayers funds to pay off the Kaipara debt – but there should be an option for a Government supported loan to replace the existing loans.

It may be that the Commissioners come up with new funding methods, but under existing legislation the ratepayers will, in the end, almost certainly foot the bill.

New legislation, currently before a select Committee, will give the Government the ability to intervene at an early stage if a council is seen to be heading for trouble.

Kaipara residents have lived with this problem for many months, but the elected council has proved incapable of fully understanding what was happening with its finances.



The proposed new legislation will put in place financial prudence requirements limiting debt and the level of rates increases, and any signs that a council is heading for trouble will allow the Government to intervene at an early stage.

With this new legislation any signs of councils breaching the financial requirements should trigger ratepayer action such as that taken by Mangawhai ratepayers in the Kaipara District.

All ratepayers should be particularly aware of high cost projects which their local council might enter into which may not be fully funded, and where final costs are not known.

In particular, ratepayers in Auckland should be very watchful of projects such as the Central Rail Loop, on which the council has committed over $240 million to buy land buildings for a project which can only be partly funded by the council.

ends


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

SCOOP COVERAGE: CHRISTCHURCH MOSQUES TERROR ATTACK


Principals Reject Offer: Primary Teachers Vote For Settlement

Primary teachers have voted to ratify a proposed settlement that will give them pay parity with their secondary colleagues, but disappointed primary principals have rejected a settlement that was unchanged from a previously rejected offer.

NZEI Te Riu Roa President Lynda Stuart said the outcome was a big win for teachers, who had campaigned alongside principals for 18 months and held three strike days - including New Zealand's largest ever strike alongside their secondary colleagues. More>>

 
 

Pike River: Weeks Of Work Before Team Gets Beyond 170 Metres

No items of interest have been found in the latest forensic search of the tunnel between 30 and 170 metres, however, both the police and the Pike River Recovery Agency say it has been useful. More>>

ALSO:

Remaking Elections: Call For Four-Year Term, More MPs

A Victoria University report is proposing extending the parliamentary term to four years, and increasing the number of MPs, so politicians can plan better for the future. More>>

ALSO:

Health: Ban On Smoking In Cars With Children Passes First Reading

The Smoke-free Environments Amendment Bill would allow police to issue $50 fines for those smoking with passengers under 18 years of age. More>>

ALSO:

Fair Pay Agreements Good: CTU Releases Report On Sector Bargaining

The Council of Trade Unions has released an independent report conducted by economic research company BERL into the validity of sector bargaining. More>>

ALSO:

Goldsmith New National Finance Spokesperson: Amy Adams To Leave Politics In 2020

Amy Adams has announced she will retire from politics at the 2020 election and as a consequence of that decision she has chosen to stand down from the spokesperson roles she holds in the Party. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Government's Cosmetic Banking Reforms

The elephant in the room as the government carries out its latest bout of tinkerings with our banking practice is the extraordinary level of profit-taking still being extracted by the Australian Banking Gang from ordinary New Zealanders. Yes indeed, ... More>>

ALSO:

IPCA: Offensive Language, Misuse Of Pepper Spray

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that, following a pursuit in Auckland, a man was dealt with inappropriately and unprofessionally by a Police officer during his arrest. More>>

ALSO:

Stats NZ: Gender Inclusive Questions Introduced

More than 28,000 New Zealand households will be asked to take part in the upcoming Household Economic Survey. Starting this year, the survey will ask people to describe their gender – whether that is male, female, or if they see themselves another way, such as one of many non-binary genders. More>>

New Report: Are We Listening To Children?

A report released today is a sharp reminder that what children and young people say makes a difference, and that it’s time we paid more attention to their views, says Children’s Commissioner Andrew Becroft. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels