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

Turei To Be Interviewed By MSD: Gordon Campbell On The Real Truth Deficit In Welfare

It has been astonishing to see the amount of time and energy being spent on what Greens co-leader Metiria Turei did or didn’t do properly as a beneficiary back in the early 1990s – as compared to how little time and energy is being put into the point of her personal example.

Turei was citing her case in order to query whether much has changed – especially when it comes down to whether the current benefit levels and targeting rules at WINZ are helping or hindering today’s beneficiaries to escape from poverty. More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Bojo Visit

British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson is in town, just over a year since his political career peaked… and then wobbled off into a grey zone of indecision… Currently, Johnson is touring the former colonies, talking up the historical ties. More>>

ALSO:

Tertiary Ed: Government Responds To Productivity Commission

The work programme will focus on four key areas. • Creating a more student-centred system • Meeting the needs of industry through relevant, responsive, and supportive teaching • Improving performance across the system • Enabling and encouraging innovative new models and providers More>>

ALSO:

PM's Science Advisor: Youth Suicide In NZ Discussion Paper

The paper discusses the multiple factors involved in youth suicide and possible and evidence-based approaches to prevention. It points out the very different context in which young people now live their lives and the challenges of the transition from childhood to adulthood. More>>

ALSO:

Drug Deaths: Accurate Information Is Vital

Drug Foundation: The spike in hospital admissions and reported deaths in Auckland as a result of people taking unknown substances is not being helped by an information vacuum. More>>

ALSO:

Backing Dunne & Seymour: National Signals Election Intentions

“We are encouraging National supporters to give their electorate vote to ACT candidate, David Seymour, in Epsom, and United Future candidate, Peter Dunne, in Ohariu – and their party vote to National." More>>

ALSO:

Climate Policy: Govt's New Proposals For ETS

“Last year, as a result of stage one of the review, we announced the phase out of the one-for-two measure in the ETS. I am now announcing further changes as a result of stage two of the review.” More>>

ALSO:

PM's Press Conference: Boris, Infrastructure, Immigration, Drugs

Prime Minister Bill English opened this week's post-cabinet press conference by revisiting that day's announcement of 'Crown Infrastructure Partners'... More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election