Local Govt Act changes undermine democracy

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Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement:

Headline: Local Govt Act changes undermine democracy



National’s ad hoc approach to local government re-organisation is creating significant cost, churn and unnecessary conflict in regions such as Hawke’s Bay, Northland and Wellington.

Changes to the Local Government Act will undermine local democracy and concentrate power in the hands of a few, said the Green Party today.

The Local Government Amendment Bill ( No 3) is due to have its second reading in Parliament on Tuesday. The Bill allows the Local Government Commission to replace competent independent councils with local boards with limited powers in a local government re-organisation.

“National’s ad hoc approach to local government re-organisation is creating significant cost, churn and unnecessary conflict in regions such as Hawke’s Bay, Northland and Wellington,” said Green Party local government spokesperson Eugenie Sage.

“Replacing the existing five councils in Hawke’s Bay and concentrating power in one nine member unitary council would mean fewer people would be involved in making significant decisions about council assets, spending and services in the region.

“This is another example of this National Government putting the interests of a few ahead of ordinary New Zealanders.

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“New Zealanders don’t want to be locked out of the decisions that impact them on a daily basis.

“We can have local voices, representing our communities, sitting around the council table. We don’t need a one size fits all approach,” said Ms Sage.

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