Institute of Public Policy - IPP submission expresses concerns over proposed changes to local government bill

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IPP submission expresses concerns over proposed changes to local government bill

3 Aug 2012

Auckland City Council Main Building

The Local Government Centre at IPP expressed concerns by way of a submission about the proposed legislation that would dramatically reduce the power of councils.

The submission acknowledges that there is significant potential for improving the performance of the local government sector, but says the proposed extension of powers of ministerial intervention should not proceed and measures be put in place to to minimise the potential for the use of intervention powers.

"Instead, the government should focus more on the evidence that strong autonomous local government is a significant contributor to economic and social development and that government micromanagement can seriously undermine this.

"A sector as contentious as local government can be, this requires careful and evidence-based analysis of proposed interventions."

The Local Government Centre says the evidence, both in New Zealand and internationally, suggests there is a "very real risk that much of what is proposed in the Bill will at best be ineffective, but more likely undermine the very objectives the government is seeking to pursue".

"For a sector as important as local government, there is no substitute for evidence-based policy-making, supported by strong analytical input, to minimise the risk that legislative intervention will actually worsen, rather than improve, the situation it is attempting to address.

"Councils must be able to play their part in creating an environment conducive to sustained economic growth."

New Zealand’s 78 councils make up 4% of Gross Domestic Product, spend $7.5 billion per year of public money, and manage $100 billion of public assets. They also perform a huge range of important regulatory functions for households and businesses.

Read the full submission >>

Last updated: 03 Aug 2012 2:00pm

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IPP submission expresses concerns over proposed changes to local government bill
The Local Government Centre within IPP has expressed concerns over proposed changes to the the Local Government Amendment Bill.