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Community and health issues up for debate at AGM

Community and health issues up for debate at Local Government NZ AGM

The local government sector will vote on seven significant issues when it gathers for its annual AGM in Dunedin on July 24. There is a strong focus on community and health issues in this year’s remits, including police resourcing, housing standards and the possible adverse health impacts of dust from unsealed roads.

Community policing

Increased resourcing for community policing is the aim of a remit to be debated at the AGM. Community policing is a growing issue, especially for rural communities. Some communities are already footing the bill for increased security measures like CCTV and foot patrols, indicating the day to day presence of police in communities throughout New Zealand is shrinking. The remit asks that LGNZ advocates for increased resourcing for community policing.

Freedom camping

This remit calls for changes to legislation to enable local government to more effectively control the negative issues associated with freedom camping. Conversations around this are underway but support from the sector would assist in strengthening LGNZ’s advocacy. The remit asks that the Freedom Camping Act 2011 be amended to allow infringement fines to be tagged to the vehicle which is being used to cause the offence; allow fines to be instantaneous; and allow broader exemptions to the need for provision of camping facilities.

Minimum standards for rental housing

This remit asks that Local Government New Zealand works with the Government on ways to strengthen the minimum standards for rental housing to ensure rentals are warm, dry and healthy to live in. Housing quality is a growing area of concern for many local authorities and is related to the pressing issue of housing affordability and homelessness.

Impact of dust on unsealed roads

Gaining a better understanding of the impacts on human health from dust on unsealed roads is sought by this remit. Dust emission from unsealed roads could be causing significant health issues for people who reside near these roads. The remit calls for a working party to investigate the impact of dust on human health.

Preservation of earthquake prone public heritage buildings

This remit proposes the government sets up a fund to provide assistance to help communities preserve their earthquake prone public heritage buildings. In many cases these iconic buildings are expensive to preserve and run the risk of being lost if costs of preservation become too high to be borne locally.

Relocation of government services to regional centres

This remit seeks to explore the potential benefits to regional New Zealand of relocating more government services out of Wellington. One of the biggest issues facing New Zealand is the future of our regional economies. Given the massive advances in communication technology and the challenges being faced by regional centres, now would be a good time for the Government to look for ways to share the economic benefits that come with its activities.

Beverage container deposit system

This remit calls for Local Government New Zealand to endorse the concept of a national-mandated beverage container deposit system, and requests that the Government requires industry to develop and implement one within a two-year period.


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