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No intervention at this time for Kaipara District Council

Rodney Hide

8 September, 2011

No intervention at this time for Kaipara District Council

Minister of Local Government Rodney Hide today met with Mayor Mr Neil Tiller, Chief Executive Jack McKerchar and a representative of Local Government New Zealand following a number of requests from groups and individuals for government intervention in the Kaipara District Council.

“While I am sympathetic to people’s concerns I am strongly of the belief that it is preferable for local issues to be resolved locally and therefore I do not see a need to intervene at this time,” Mr Hide said.

“The Council is taking steps to address the issues it is facing. For example it has commissioned independent financial advice, has appointed a Treasury advisor to help manage its debt, and is seeking to build internal capability in these areas. And, following the resignation of Mr McKerchar, they have started looking for a new chief executive, with the help of an experienced recruitment company.

“I accept that the concerns which have been raised are significant and I am taking them seriously, but I believe the Council needs time to resolve its issues. I am assured from my meeting that steps are in fact being taken. In particular I am pleased to see that Local Government New Zealand is aware of the problems and is providing support.

“But progress needs to be made. I told the Mayor the Council is on watch.

“I have asked my officials to continue monitoring the situation in Kaipara and to keep me apprised of progress. I have also asked the Mayor on behalf of the Council to report progress to the new Minister of Local Government by 30 April 2012.

“My advice to the incoming Minister of Local Government is to expect substantial progress on the issues that it is facing.

“The development of Kaipara’s 2012 long-term plan will provide an excellent opportunity for the Council to clearly set out the issues it faces and to engage with its communities on proposals for addressing them,” Mr Hide said.

ENDS

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