Government piles pressure onto new councils

Published: Mon 14 Oct 2019 10:25 AM
Increasing regulation from Central Government is set to cause a headache for newly elected local and regional councils, and increase costs on ratepayers, National’s Local Government spokesperson Jacqui Dean says.
“In the coming weeks, councillors will be sworn in around the country. They put themselves forward with noble intentions of serving their local community, but in reality will face ballooning costs and a mountain of complex legislation to work through.
“National supports cleaning up our waterways, but the Government’s freshwater reform and three waters review are both highly problematic for regional councils. They will have to go through phases of consultation, analysis and hearings in order to overhaul planning processes over the next three years.
“The weight of new national standards and tight development controls will be felt strongly by councils who will be forced to pass on additional costs to unsuspecting ratepayers.
“Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta has admitted that the freshwater reform and three waters review will be ‘very challenging’ and will bring ‘cost pressures’ to councils, but is still pushing forward with another regulation to make councils identify and report against a series of wellbeing targets for every decision made.
“These wellbeing targets aren’t even known as of yet, with yet another expensive working group being assembled to come up with them. This is all coming at a time when combined council debt sits at around $16 billion and rates are going up disproportionally to income and far outstripping the rate of inflation.
“Councils are also grappling with how to manage tourism pressure, economic development and rising sea levels, which all come on top of their day-to-day service delivery.
“The new crop of councillors have a whole range of issues to contend with and unfortunately their job will be made that much harder by a Government intent on shifting costs and regulatory burden onto their shoulders.”

Next in New Zealand politics

Gordon Campbell on the farming sector’s persecution complex
By: Gordon Campbell
Independent review of prisoner mail management released
By: Department Of Corrections
IPCA releases reports on the unlawful detention of teenager
By: Independent Police Conduct Authority
New safety measures for modified pistols
By: New Zealand Government
Government fixes culturally arranged marriage visa issue
By: New Zealand Government
Budget investigation shut down and new inquirer appointed
By: State Services Commission
Mysterious foundation loaning New Zealand First money
Criminal Cases Review Commission established
By: New Zealand Government
National backs farmers marching against Govt policies
By: New Zealand National Party
Ag Proud NZ encourage positive not provocative actions
By: Ag Proud
March on Parliament deliberately created confusion
By: NZ Forest Owners' Association
Who will pick up Essential Freshwater’s $80b price tag?
By: DairyNZ
DairyNZ claim of economic ruin "misleading"
By: Fish and Game New Zealand
New Zealand Roundtable for Sustainable Beef launched
By: Beef And Lamb NZ
Personality important in farmer anxiety
By: Lincoln University
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILEWe're in BETA! Send Feedback © Scoop Media