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Conflict of interest rules to be reviewed

Rodney Hide
Minister of Local Government

24 August, 2011

Conflict of interest rules to be reviewed

Minister of Local Government Rodney Hide today announced the first stage of a review of the Local Authorities (Members’ Interests) Act 1968, the legislation which governs how conflict of interest rules are managed for members of local councils.

“The current rules are out of step with the way local government now operates,” Mr Hide said.

“This Act has needed to be reconsidered for some years now. New Zealand has changed markedly since 1968, when it was passed. Our expectations of holders of public office have changed as have conflict of interest provisions in other Acts, such as the Crown Entities Act 2004.

“The local government system, too, has evolved in the last 40 years. It is time the framework for managing conflicts of interest in local government reflected current conditions.

“The Act’s provisions are causing concern, both for local authorities and for the Auditor-General who is responsible for policing it.”

A review discussion document “Managing Conflicting Interests in Local Government: The Local Authorities (Members’ Interests) Act 1968 and Associated Issues” has been published on the Department of Internal Affairs website for public consultation. The document outlines the main concerns with the current system for managing conflicts of interest and presents some potential alternative approaches.

“I hope to hear ideas from relevant authorities and the general public about what they think is and isn’t working in the current Act, and in particular how the conflicts of interest framework should be managed in local government in the future,” Mr Hide said.


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