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Local Authorities Send Strong Message to Govt


Local Authorities Send Strong Message to Govt

16 July 2012

New Zealand councils are giving a resounding message to government to keep the environmental, social, cultural and economic wellbeings in the Local Government Act.

Speaking from Local Government New Zealand’s conference, President Lawrence Yule said a unanimous statement at the LGNZ’s Annual General Meeting sent a powerful message to government that the existing legislation allowed councils to add most value to communities.

“Councils have been criticised by the Government for supposedly working in areas that are not core. Yet most of these activities are picked up because of the failure of central government and the private sector to deliver them.

“However, the vast majority of council activity and spending is on water, roading and similar activities.

“The four wellbeings are not putting cost pressures on councils, but the fast rising prices for essential supplies such as bitumen for roading are,” Mr Yule said.

“The wellbeings provide clarity. If they are removed, councils will be open to politically-motivated challenges regarding their activities, which will cost millions. The lawyers will be the winners; ratepayers will lose out.

“Charging councils with the wellbeings of their communities has been maligned by people who don’t necessarily know as much about local government as they claim. The current set up works well.

“We expect councils will have differing views and perspectives on aspects of the Bill, but the feeling about the proposed changes to the purpose of local government is very strong.”


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