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Libz support call to scrap Local Government Bill

Libz support call to scrap Local Government Bill

"Spreading the unproductive tentacles of local petty-fascism" is how Libertarianz Leader Russell Watkins today described the Local Government Bill, declaring his support for the Local Government Forum's call to scrap the Bill.

"The Local Government Bill gives local councils a so-called 'power of general competence'," notes an amazed Watkins - amazed because, he says, "competence" is not a word anyone is likely to associate with councils.

"Instead, they have a long track record of massive incompetence and wastage of ratepayers money on white elephants like the exhorbitantly expensive Britomart project, New Plymouth's Wind Wand and Invercargill's "international airport" - to name just a few higher profile examples."

Watkins says that the Local Government Bill, originally introduced by Sandra Lee, "lets councils off the leash by which they were once chained up." He fears more wastage "and even more incompetence" if the Bill is passed, and councils are able to get into any business they like.

"Local government is full of the cast-offs of national politics like Margaret Shields, Richard Northey, John Banks, John Terris, Leah McBey and Neil Morrison. Giving more power to these failed blowhards is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys. It makes no sense."

Watkins, standing for Mayor of Tauranga District in the forthcoming local body elections, calls for ratepayers across New Zealand to oppose the Local Government Bill "by any means necessary, and in the name of protecting what remains of their property rights."

Further notes:
Libertarianz submission on the Local Government Bill calls for it to be scrapped, and calls for
some immediate measures to dramatically reduce the size of local government, with a view to eventually eliminating it. Some of the measures advanced by Libertarianz in their submission are:

- a permanent rates cap with abolition of differential general rating, eliminating discriminatory rating against the productive sector;

- immediate prohibition on all councils entering into any new commercial or non-commercial venture of any kind;

- prohibition on new council borrowing. Debt repayments will only be able to be made from existing revenue sources, including privatisation;

- requirement that all trading activities of councils, including roads, be transferred to Local Authority Trading Enterprises, and that as many of these activities as possible be privatised;

- prohibition on councils making bylaws that are contrary to the non-initiation of force principle;

- elimination of the franchise for non-ratepayers in local body elections;

- requirement that all councils when acting under their statutory obligations under the Resource Management Act and other legislation fully respect all private property rights.

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