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Clear plan required for a return to local democracy


Clear plan required for a return to local democracy

7 September 2012

A clear commitment and plan are required to return to local democracy at Environment Canterbury,” said Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) President, Lawrence Yule.

The Government has decided to retain appointed commissioners through to 2016.

While acknowledging the good work, and the difficult circumstances, in which Environment Canterbury has had to operate, it was none the less important that a return to governance by elected representatives occur at the 2016 elections.

“The Commission has made good headway on major issues affecting the region, but it is not accountable to Cantabrians,” said Mr Yule.

“Environment Canterbury has done outstanding work, both in its response to the earthquakes in Canterbury, and its work on implementing the Canterbury Water Management Strategy, but the key principle of elected representation must be allowed to re-assert itself in due course.”

LGNZ is looking to the Government to prepare a credible plan to return to local democracy. This should be the focus of the scheduled Ministerial Review in 2014. That Ministerial Review should also consider the experience of Environment Canterbury in operating in a regime where appeals on Recourse Management Act planning can only be made on points of law.

To date, this approach has worked well in Canterbury and resulted in better collaboration between stakeholders and faster planning processes.

This has been a key outcome sort by both local and central government and many other stakeholders.

It is important that the experiences in Canterbury are not lost.


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