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Country areas cop it in Local Government Bill

David Carter

National Agriculture Spokesman

1 December 2002

Country areas cop it in Local Government Bill

The National Party's urging every rural community to get involved in the campaign to stop the Local Government Bill being rushed through Parliament under urgency.

"If this Bill is allowed to proceed, some areas may lose their representative on the local council," says National's Agriculture spokesman David Carter.

"The Bill paves the way for a re-think of ward boundaries, with the divvy up based on population only rather than population, communities of interest, areas and rateable value of land.

"In country areas, where we pay a disproportionate amount of rates, that could lead to even less representation," says Mr Carter.

"In Southland, Federated Farmers is threatening a rates revolt over this issue, it's clear they understand how serious this issue is.

"That's in stark contrast to the Government who've dismissed National's concerns as 'ridiculous'.

"The Bill gives Maori extra rights with special Maori representatives. National says that's divisive.

"Federated Farmers and Chambers of Commerce up and down the country are firmly opposed to this rushed legislation.

"And National's urging anyone who hasn't joined the campaign to get involved before it's too late," says Mr Carter.

Ends

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