Key urges local govt to tighten belts
Mon, 16 Jul 2012 10:29a.m.
Prime Minister John Key has urged further belt-tightening by local government, saying it needs to play its part in rebuilding the economy.
In a speech to the Local Government New Zealand conference in Queenstown on Monday, Mr Key said local authorities need to work on delivering better services within tight fiscal restraint - just like central government.
"Times are tight and ratepayers just can't endure unaffordable rates rises. We are not telling you how to do your jobs, but we would urge you to think carefully about the capacity of your communities during these difficult financial times," Mr Key said.
"I know it's not easy, and it's tempting to think your council is an exception or faces special circumstances, but we all have to face up to making difficult choices."
The Government unveiled an eight-point local government reform programme in March, which includes introducing fiscal responsibility requirements for councils and making it easier for councils to amalgamate.
Legislation to enact the reforms will be passed in two separate bills, with the first to be passed by September, enabling the Local Government Commission to consider proposals on council reorganisation in time for local government elections in October 2013.
Mr Key says the reforms are designed to help keep rates affordable and keep debt down by focusing councils on their core roles.
He says some of the reforms are contentious, but the Government will listen to local government and ratepayers' submissions at the select committee process to deliver a "sensible solution".
One of the more contentious points is amalgamation, which Mr Key says has worked well in Auckland.
"It has reduced bureaucracy, cut costs and the creation of a single voice has given the Auckland Council the capacity to arguably do more."
He said the Government will not force councils to amalgamate, "but we want to enable communities to be able to genuinely debate whether it is the right move for their community or not".
Post a Comment
Before commenting, please take the time to read our moderation guide
(Won't be published)
18/07/2012 2:03:34 p.m.
Loco(motive) Lennie is still pushing for his train set. Even though it will never cease to be a burden on most rate payers who never have a chance to use it like those of us on the North Shore and in Rodney. Likewise the $10.8M council support for having V8 cars at Pukekohe is totally extravagant and downright stupid when Hampton Downs have offered to upgrade their facility at their own expense if the race can be run there.
The new Auckland City Council needs to forget social agendas, stick to realistic core activities and not create monuments to ill-conceived glory.
17/07/2012 1:48:07 p.m.
Watch out Len Brown is going to tighten the Aucklanders' belt, ..for showing off himself.
Those government officials kept wasting the tax payer's money for their selfish demand, why not cut their own salary to show the sincerity and royality to the NZders.
17/07/2012 12:03:26 a.m.
start at the top wrote:
Says the PM who gets 400,000 + perks for a population of 4.7 million. Obama and Cameron don't get that much. How about the MP's and the PM really tighten their belts- oh yeah, we won't talk about that.
16/07/2012 1:17:37 p.m.
forget blaming a figurehead this country has been in trouble for years and the wastage continues in handouts and red-tape having an occasional big event actually seems to me like a positive way to bring the community and NZ together instead of the continual whining about rates lets stop wastage not the few good things that are in this country which bring people here instead of them going to other countries and spending their money. There are way too many little councils in NZ and we need to finish up the treaty and make it final so we stop paying lawyers and the like forever, then maybe all maori will benefit from the treaty and we can all move forward as Kiwis with a proud maori heritage and culture
16/07/2012 11:59:49 a.m.
Does anyone know if "V8Supercar and other Wasteful Monuments - Len Brown" is listening?
16/07/2012 10:56:53 a.m.
"Times are tight and ratepayers just can't endure unaffordable rates rises"
Truth is people can't endure much more of this govt which has made things so tough for them, in spite of promising a brighter future. John Key can't squirm out of that one and blame the councils.
Viewers overwhelming voted yes to decriminalising soft drugs during TV3's nation...
A petition boasting more than 37,000 signatures against the use of animal testin...
The Nation reporter Torben Akel took a close look at her background and asked so...
A report by New Zealand's police watchdog into the Urewera terror raids has foun...
Calls are growing for the Auckland Council to rethink its plans for more intensi...
Copyright © 2013 MediaWorks TV. All Rights Reserved.