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

 


Timing of Auditor General’s report on local govt questioned

7 December 2012

Timing of Auditor General’s report on local government questioned

The Public Service Association is asking why a key report on local government was not made available during the parliamentary debate on the controversial Local Government Amendment Bill.

The Auditor General’s report on matters arising from the 2012-22 local authority long-term plans was presented to parliament yesterday - just a week after the controversial Local Government Act Amendment Bill was passed.

The government claimed the legislation, which gives the government the power to intervene in local decision-making, was necessary to control soaring council spending and debt, along with unreasonable rate rises.

However the Auditor General’s report indicates that councils are not in crisis. It says that local authorities are planning to live within their means, are not raising rates to unreasonable levels, and stay within the rules of fiscal policy that governments should borrow only to invest. It also states that any levels of debt are generally fit for purpose rather than imprudent.

PSA National Secretary Brenda Pilott says the report provides further evidence that the premise, on which the government based the legislation, was flawed.

“We don’t know who is responsible for the timing of such reports, but it’s disappointing that it wasn’t available to MPs as they considered and debated such a significant piece of legislation, particularly given the final vote last week was so close,” she says.

“The report might also have added weight during the select committee process in which MPs were deadlocked on the issues and as a result the legislation returned to the House with virtually no change.

“Unfortunately councils and communities are now faced with an ill-conceived law which they didn’t ask for, was opposed by the overwhelming majority of select committee submitters, and which, as the Auditor General’s report helps to highlight, was pushed through by the government on the back of an argument which had no real foundation,” Brenda Pilott says.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Greek Riddles:
Gordon Campbell On The Recent Smackdown Over Greece

There had been a fortnight of fevered buildup. Yet here we are in the aftermath of the February 28 showdown between the new Syriza government in Greece and the European Union “troika” and… no-one seems entirely sure what happened. Did the asteroid miss Earth?

It seems to have. The EU still exists. Syriza is now claiming a victory of sorts. It doesn’t help that the only people who do appear to be sure (the Greeks buckled) are claiming the exact opposite to what the other group (the Greeks won!) are saying. Plus, there are bets either way e.g. Bloomberg News: “Its too early to say who caved in to whom.” More>>

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Iraq: Ex-Hostage Says Government Not Putting NZers, Iraqis First

Harmeet Singh Sooden is travelling to Iraq in the coming weeks to work with Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) on a short-term assignment. More>>

ALSO:

Joint Statement: Australia-New Zealand Leaders’ Meeting

Prime Minister Key warmly welcomed Prime Minister Abbott and Mrs Abbott to New Zealand. The visit has enabled wide-ranging and substantive discussion that has underlined the strength, value, diversity and warmth of our trans-Tasman relationship. More>>

ALSO:

Press Conference: Peters To Stand In Northland By-Election

New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters has announced his intention to stand in the Northland by-election, citing his own links to the electorate and ongoing neglect of the region by central government. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Wage Hike For MPs (and Paul Robeson)

Hard to tell what is more infuriating. Is it the 5.3% increase on the already bloated salaries of MPs, or their pantomime of outrage at being gifted with such a wonderful back-dated bonanza? More>>

ALSO:

No Designers Or Visual Artists: Flag Panel Members Announced

The Government has appointed 12 New Zealanders as members of the Flag Consideration Panel which will engage with the public about a possible new New Zealand flag, Deputy Prime Minister Bill English says. More>>

ALSO:

Labour MP Stands Down From Portfolio: Comment From Carmel Sepuloni

The first I knew of my mother’s charges was when I was called by a reporter yesterday. I spoke to Andrew and we agreed there is a conflict of interest at the present time which means I will temporarily stand aside from the Social Development portfolio. It’s the right thing to do… . More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Whether NZ Troops Are The Least Of Islamic State’s Problems

Given that it has been politically packaged and sold as a training mission, the Iraq deployment announced yesterday by Prime Minister John Key seemed to be mysteriously short of actual trainers... The other wing of the argument is whether a troop deployment is (a) the only effective way and (b) the appropriate time to combat Islamic State. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news