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Local Government Bill Should Not Proceed


3 October 2002
PR134/02
Local Government Bill Should Not Proceed

The Local Government Bill should not proceed, members of the Local Government Forum told the Local Government and Environment Select Committee today.

The Local Government Forum, of which Federated Farmers is a member, was re-submitting their position on the Local Government Bill as the select committee membership had changed significantly since the election.

"Farmers are concerned that the Bill will grant councils a "Power of General Competence" allowing councils to engage in a wide range of new activities, said Federated Farmer's National Vice President Charlie Pedersen.

"In fact, subject only to broad consultative requirements, councils will have the same rights and freedom of action consistent with the general law, as individuals and corporations - yet they will continue to be principally funded by landowners!

"The threat to farm owners and indeed all businesses, urban and rural, is the risk of carrying the costs of meeting ambitious councils' unrealistic and expensive "dreams and schemes". We simply don't have the numbers to defend our businesses from the popular ability of council to tax the few to benefit the many."

FFNZ and the Local Government Forum have launched a petition to Stop the Local Government Bill and seeks an integrated first-principles review of the functions, powers, and funding of local authorities, involving representatives from local and central government, business organisations, and ratepayer groups.

For a copy of the petition form contact Federated Farmers on PH 0800 327 646.

ENDS

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