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Local Government reforms extension

Hon Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga

Minister of Local Government


23 September 2016

Local Government reforms extension

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2).

“This will enable more rigorous analysis of submissions and more constructive dialogue with the local government sector,” Mr Lotu-Iiga says.

“There were nearly 200 submissions on the Bill. Many contain details which need to be worked through with officials to ensure they will work.”

“I have met with Local Government New Zealand and am pleased that the local government sector supports the general objectives of the reform package,” he says.

“It is imperative that steps are put in place to ensure core infrastructure including water, sewerage and roads across New Zealand are well managed. Failures of infrastructure and service are unacceptable to New Zealanders.”

“I acknowledge some of the concerns raised by local government. Solutions need to be found that promote local democracy, while ensuring better quality services and better value for ratepayers,.”

“I look forward to further discussions with the local government sector to explore options and solutions for the issues that have been raised. Local government and central government need to work together to develop practical solutions that will ensure better services for ratepayers for our longer term future,” Mr Lotu-Iiga says.

The Local Government and Environment Select Committee has finished its hearings and was due to report back to the House by 28 October. The Minister has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date to 31 March 2017. This will allow for further policy consideration and drafting changes to the Bill.
“I am committed to legislation that enables high quality, resilient and affordable infrastructure. We need regulations and services that benefit local residents and communities.”

“The reforms will enable councils to more easily share resources and expertise to address current and emerging challenges.”

“I will be working with my colleagues and the sector over coming months to address concerns while still achieving the objectives of the reforms.”

ends

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