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

Easter: Have A Safe Holiday And/Or Don't Mislead On Surcharges

Commerce Commission: “Businesses that do apply a surcharge must ensure people are alerted to this before they make a decision to purchase. This gives consumers the ability to decide whether they are prepared to pay a surcharge or would rather go elsewhere,” Ms Rawlings said.

“The reason for the surcharge must be accurately described and must not mislead consumers. For example a business must not claim their surcharge on Easter Sunday is because it is a public holiday, as the only public holidays over the Easter weekend are Good Friday and Easter Monday.” More>>

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Law Foundation Report: New Zealand Going Backwards On Human Rights

Greens: A report released today, Fault lines: Human Rights in New Zealand, looked at our commitment to six different international human rights treaties and found New Zealand sorely lacking in our commitment to human rights in practice to the point we’re going backwards. More>>

ALSO:

War Prep: “Gerrymandering” The Iraq Deployment

NZ First: “On Tuesday, it was ‘up to 50 troops’ training in Australia but yesterday that number grew to 100... Given pre-deployment training and now integrated training with the Australian Army, it seems to go beyond the supposed training role our men and women are meant to be tasked with undertaking.” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Inadequate Response To Sexual Violence Prevention

On combatting sexual violence, the government has finally begun to undo some of the problems that were of its own making. Early in March, ACC launched the Integrated Services for Sensitive Claims scheme – a package aimed at improving the attitudes of ACC staff towards sexual violence victims, and offering them more substantive support.

Hopefully, this will help to reverse the damage done with the insensitive, punitive ACC policy put in place by the incoming Key government in 2009, which in some parts of New Zealand, saw 90 per cent of sexual violence victims being turned away by ACC. More>>

ALSO:

Child, Youth and Family Review:

"To Help Families Get Ahead": April 1 Changes Kick In

Prime Minister John Key says Paid Parental Leave, the parental tax credit, the minimum wage and Superannuation will increase, while average ACC levies will fall, and more people will be helped in to home ownership... More>>

ALSO:

Climate: Ministers Exclude Emissions From ‘Environment Reporting'

The National Party Government has today revealed that the national environmental report topics for this year will, incredibly, exclude New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

No Retrial: Freedom At Last For Teina Pora

The Māori Party is relieved that the Privy Council has cleared the final legal hurdle for Teina Pora who was wrongfully convicted of murder and sent to prison for 22 years. More>>

ALSO:

Germanwings Crash: Privacy Act Supports Aviation Safeguards In New Zealand

Reports that German privacy laws may have contributed to the Germanwings air crash have prompted New Zealand’s Privacy Commissioner to reassure the public that the Privacy Act is no impediment to medical practitioners notifying appropriate authorities to a pilot’s health concerns. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty: Taranaki Iwi Ngāruahine Settles Treaty Claims For $67.5mln

The settlement includes a $13.5 million payment the government made in June 2013, as well as land in the Taranaki region. The settlement also includes four culturally significant sites, the Waipakari Reserve, Te Kohinga Reserve, Te Ngutu o te Manu and Te Poho o Taranaki. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news