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

 


Government needs to act to control councils

Crisis time for ratepayers – Government needs to act to control councils.

Ratepayers in New Zealand’s two biggest cities are facing substantial rates increases over the next few years.

Christchurch’s problems arise mostly from the earthquakes of three years ago, while Auckland’s problems are self-inflicted by the council’s spending decisions.

The councils of both cities have made it clear that rates increases are inevitable unless ‘alternative funding sources’ are found.

Councils and central Government have made similar noises over the seven years since the Independent Rates Inquiry of 2007, but no solutions are in sight.

A few weeks ago Local Government New Zealand announced it was to investigate additional funding sources for councils, but not alternative funding sources.

Both Christchurch and Auckland are demanding more funding from central Government and it now seems inevitable that the funding of local councils will become a political football in election year.

It is almost universally accepted that the current rating system is unfair and inequitable, but councils and central Government are reluctant to make changes because rates are ‘easy to collect and almost impossible to avoid’.

The need for change is now reaching a crisis level as councils’ debt levels rise, and interest on that debt is forming an increasing percentage of rates collected.

Until solutions to these problems are found there is one clear cut option open to all councils - reduce expenditure on non-essential services and projects which are funded from rates.

Central Government is ultimately responsible for local government and must use its powers to bring local councils to heel and bring financial relief to ratepayers.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Parliament Today:

Werewolf: The Defence Pretence

Last year, the world began spending more money on weapons again, for the first time since 2011... New Zealand belongs to a region – Asia and Oceania – where military spending rose sharply in 2015, by 5.4 per cent. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Not Crying Foul, Argentina

So a couple of guys found to be criminally liable of environmental pollution in Argentina lodge an application with the Overseas Investment Office… in order to buy some prime New Zealand rural land. Seems that their factory back home had carelessly and/or intentionally discharged toxic waste into the Lujan river. Bummer... More>>

ALSO:

Urban & Rural: $303m To Merge And Modernise New Zealand’s Fire Services

Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne today announced funding of $303 million over five years to combine urban and rural fire services into one organisation from mid-2017. More>>

ALSO:

High Trust Regime: What Did The PM Tell His Lawyer About Foreign Trusts?

The Government stopped the IRD from reviewing New Zealand foreign trusts shortly after the Prime Minister’s lawyer wrote to the Revenue Minister claiming John Key had promised him the regime would not be changed. More>>

ALSO:

Road Crime: Wicked Campers Vans Classified As Objectionable

The definition of publication includes any "thing that has printed or impressed upon it, or otherwise shown upon it, 1 or more (or a combination of 1 or more) images, representations, signs, statements, or words", The Classification Office has previously classified such 'things' as billboards, t-shirts, and even a drink can. This is the first time the Classification Office has classified a vehicle. More>>

ALSO:

'When New' Repairs: Landmark EQC Settlement

The Earthquake Commission has cut a deal with 98 Canterbury homeowners that affirms the government entity's responsibility to repair earthquake-damaged property to a 'when new' state, as well as covering repairs for undamaged parts of a property and clarifying its position on cash settlement calculations. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Kiwirail’s Latest Stint In The Dogbox

The denigration of Kiwirail continues. The latest review (based on a 2014 assessment) of the options facing the company have enabled Kiwirail to be hung out to dry once again as a liability and burden on the taxpayer. More>>

ALSO:

Royal Society Report: Good Opportunities To Act Now On Climate Change

There are many actions New Zealand can and should take now to reduce the threat of climate change and transition to a low-carbon economy, a report released today by the Royal Society of New Zealand finds... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news