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

 


Government Needs to Rein in Councils

Stephen Berry
ACT Candidate for Upper Harbour

9 July 2014

Government Needs to Rein in Councils

ACT Upper Harbour candidate Stephen Berry says the Government needs to take urgent action to rein in Council spending across the country. “The power of general competence granted to local councils in 2002 is leading to widespread incompetence with ratepayer dollars. This blatant waste is only too obvious at Auckland Council.”

Many are quick to blame the formation of the Super City for the financial mess Auckland Council has got itself into but Mr. Berry does not share this view. “The first people to blame the council amalgamation are the politicians engaged in the wildly irresponsible spending. Had Len Brown focused on properly funding the basics instead of egotistical legacy projects like the City Rail Loop, the Council would not be in the position it is now.”

“Auckland Council borrowed $1.2 billion in the last financial year. The interest the Council pays on its debt is over $1 million a day. Suggestions the Council needs to cut spending by $280 million a year will not even come halfway to solving the problem.”

Proposals for cutting spending which have been floated in the media this week include slashing library operating hours and reducing parks maintenance budgets to achieve this target. Stephen Berry responds, “Mayor Brown and his spin doctors are playing a sneaky and deceptive game. They’re putting forward options for spending cuts on popular services so they can soften up Auckland residents for greater rates increases. There is still no mention of cutting the City Rail Loop which is clearly the first place the Council should start.”

ACT has previously introduced legislation into Parliament that would limit Council rates increases to the level of inflation each year. “Unsurprisingly this was blocked by the parties of the left. New Zealand First also conveniently forgot about its usual target market of retirees, many of whom live in their own homes, struggling to pay increasing rates on a limited pension.” Berry says, “I would like to see such legislation re-introduced to Parliament following the 2014 election, in addition to reforming the Local Government Act so councils are limited to only basic functions determined by central government.”

Stephen Berry was the third placed candidate for Mayor of Auckland in the 2013 election and campaigned on a platform of reductions in rates, spending and borrowing. However this time around he is not seeking votes for himself. “Aside from making submissions on the Council’s 10 year plan, the most powerful thing Auckland residents can do to restrict the excesses of Mayor Brown is to cast their party vote for ACT.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On The Team Behind Trump's Throne

Forget the Putin factor. Daily, the team of charlatans, bigots and stunningly ignorant crackpots that Trump is appointing to head key federal agencies is just as alarming. These are positions with vast power and budgetary discretion over policies that stand to affect tens of millions of vulnerable Americans. Sad! More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On Bill English, Abroad

If David Cameron was the closest thing John Key had to a political mentor, their successors also share a whole lot in common. Theresa May and Bill English were both propelled into the top jobs as the result of unexpected resignations, and without much in the way of credible competition from their colleagues... More>>

ALSO:

Pike River: Labour Bill To Override Safety Act For Mine Entry

“Bill English has been hiding behind the legal excuse that any attempt to re-enter the mine to recover the bodies might place the mine’s owner, Solid Energy Limited, and its directors in breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Populism And Labour 2017

For many people on the centre-left, populism is a dirty word, and a shorthand for the politics of bigotry. In this country, it has tended to be equated with the angry legions of New Zealand First. Who knew they were not just a reactionary spasm, but the wave of the future? More>>

Oxfam: 30% Of NZ Owns Less Wealth Than Our Two Richest Men

The research also reveals that the richest one per cent have 20 per cent of the wealth in New Zealand, while 90 per cent of the population owns less than half of the nation’s wealth. The research forms part of a global report released to coincide with this week’s annual meeting of political and business leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. More>>

ALSO:

Hospitals: Resident Doctors Set To Strike Again

Despite discussions between the DHBs and NZRDA over safer hours for resident doctors progressing during the last week, the strike planned for next week appears set to proceed. More>>

ALSO:

Not So Super Fund: More Burning Ethical Questions For Steven Joyce

Greens: Radio New Zealand reported this morning that the New Zealand Superfund has $77 million invested in 47 coal companies that the Norwegian Government’s Pension Fund – the largest sovereign fund in the world – has blacklisted. More>>

Activism: Greenpeace Intercepts World’s Biggest Seismic Oil Ship

Greenpeace crew have made contact with the world’s biggest seismic oil ship after travelling 50 nautical miles on two rigid-hulled inflatables off the coast of Wairarapa... Greenpeace radioed the master of the Amazon Warrior to deliver an open letter of protest signed by over 60,000 New Zealanders. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: Why Tax Cuts In 2017 Would Be A (Proven) Bad Idea

Ever since the world fell prey to the mullahs of the free market in the 1980s, no amount of real world evidence has managed dispel one key tenet of their economic faith. Namely, the idea that if you cut income taxes and taxes on small business, a wave of individual enterprise and entrepreneurial energy will thus be unleashed, profits will rise and – hey bingo! – the tax cuts will soon be paying for themselves ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news