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Local Government Bill A Direct Threat To Business

Local Government Bill A Direct Threat To Business

Thursday 20 Dec 2001 Gerry Eckhoff Press Releases -- Governance & Constitution

The local Government Bill will reintroduce socialism through the power of general competence given to councils, ACT Local Government Spokesman Gerry Eckhoff said today.

"The Minister of Local Government, an Alliance Party member, is positively encouraging local councils to actively compete against business people.

"Further, the councils need only focus on a social dividend instead of producing a financial return to rate-payers. The effect will be to undercut business and industry when tendering for contracts the councils themselves put out to tender.

"Councils will also be given the ability to rate (tax) so as to ensure they meet the Government's requirement to meet social, environmental, cultural and economic imperatives.

"The metaphysical (spiritual) values of Maori must also be given due consideration before decisions can be made.

"This bill, as it stands, will effectively impose socialism on New Zealanders where the rights of the individual and business will be ignored in the interests of an Alliance Party-inspired move to further state control of industry.

"Until local councils can consistently demonstrate that they can well manage their core businesses such as water and sewerage under no circumstances should they be allowed to leap into the commercial world and risk rate payers money in an environment where loss and failure are commonplace," Gerry Eckhoff said.

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