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

 


LGNZ welcomes Prime Minister to local government conference

LGNZ welcomes Prime Minister to local government conference

Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) was pleased to host the Prime Rt Hon John Key at the 2014 LGNZ Conference today in Nelson.

The Prime Minister addressed the audience of 550 delegates including mayors, chairs, chief executives, councillors and senior management from New Zealand's councils and stakeholders from the private sector, government and non-government agencies.

He announced the Rules Reduction Taskforce that Local Government Minister Paula Bennett will establish, a central government and local government review to improve regulation.

“The Government agrees wholeheartedly with the point made in LGNZ’s Election Manifesto that central and local government need regulations that are effective and that do not place onerous costs on communities. Too often regulations are confusing, change from region to region unnecessarily, and suck up councils’ precious resources in administration,” Rt Hon Key says.

“So today I am pleased to announce Local Government Minister Paula Bennett will establish a Central Government and Local Government review group known as the Rules Reduction Taskforce. This Taskforce will listen to local concerns and find opportunities to reduce and improve local regulation. It’s part of our response to the Productivity Commission’s report on Better Local Regulation, which Paula and Bill English released this morning. “

The Prime Minister says the Taskforce, which will comprise people from both central and local government, along with members of the community, will address local regulation that could be improved.

“We already know there are property owners up and down the country who are frustrated with the regulatory requirements they must meet, and the time and money it takes to complete transactions. The decisions that councils make on regulation affect the whole country. When local government sets requirements for building standards, for example, they can increase the cost of building, which affects house price inflation and potentially the track for interest rates and the exchange rate. Central government grapples with regulatory issues as well. So let’s work together to make life easier for ratepayers and pool our resources to tackle this issue together.”

He spoke about the importance of local government and central government working together on a range of issues that impact communities, regions and New Zealand’s economy.

“Things work best when we’re pulling in the same direction, which is why we put so much effort into our relationship with local government, especially by Paula Bennett and Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, who is here today,” Rt Hon Key says.

Central and local government have recently been working on roading, with the draft Government Policy Statement currently out for consultation, and work on improving housing affordability with Housing Accords and Special Housing Areas Act.

“This is in effect a joint initiative between central and local government to fast-track Special Housing Areas for new developments,” Rt Hon Key says.

“We’ve introduced the Earthquake-prone Buildings Amendment Bill to strike the right balance between protecting people from harm in an earthquake, and the costs of strengthening or removing buildings. I know this is an issue which has vexed local councils. No one wants to see councils or communities shoulder unnecessarily heavy financial burdens. So I’m also pleased that Building and Construction Minister Nick Smith has been working with mayors and LGNZ to work through the impacts of new legislation, particularly in regions where the risk of an earthquake is low.”

The Prime Minister says that while central and local government have different core functions, both face the same challenges.

“We have to be prudent as we operate within tight financial constraints. We have to be smarter with the resources we have got. And the needs of New Zealanders should be at the heart of what we do,” Rt Hon Key says.

LGNZ President Lawrence Yule thanked the Prime Minister for his attendance and the strong working relationship the local government sector enjoys with him.

“Local government and central government need to work together to create shared national strategies on a number of policy areas to create vibrant communities and strong economies across all of New Zealand,” Mr Yule says.

“Local government welcomes the Government’s commitment to refine the Earthquake-prone Buildings Amendment Bill to strike the right balance between managing life risk and cost so that communities and councils are not overburdened with costs they cannot afford. We seek to ensure that the Bill reflects the different risk profiles of buildings and regions, and takes into account social and economic impacts alongside life safety.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

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>>

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

"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:

Gordon Campbell: On A Funeral In Asia, The Northland By-Election, And News Priorities

Supposedly, New Zealand’s destiny lies in Asia, and that was one of Foreign Minister Murray McCully’s rationales for his bungled reforms at MFAT. OK. So, if that’s the case why didn’t Prime Minister John Key attend the state funeral on Sunday of Singapore’s founding leader Lee Kuan Yew? More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf Satire: Not Flag-Waving; Flag-Drowning

The panel choosing the flag options has no visual artists at all. Now, I’ve kerned the odd ligature in my time and I know my recto from my French curve so I thought I’d offer a few suggestions before they get past their depth. More>>

ALSO:

IPCA Reports: Significant Problems In Police Custody

In releasing two reports today, the Independent Police Conduct Authority has highlighted a number of significant problems with the way in which Police deal with people who are detained in Police cells. More>>

ALSO:

Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security: Inquiry Into GCSB Pacific Allegations

The complaints follow recent public allegations about GCSB activities. The complaints, and these public allegations, raise wider questions regarding the collection, retention and sharing of communications data. More>>

ALSO:

TPPA Investment Leak: "NZ Surrender To US" On Corporates Suing Governments

Professor Jane Kelsey: ‘As anticipated, the deal gives foreign investors from the TPPA countries special rights, and the power to sue the government in private offshore tribunals for massive damages if new laws, or even court decisions, significantly affected their bottom line’. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news