Democracy and participation in local government was sorely neglected through the 90s, but the speech by Local Government
Minister Sandra Lee to the Public Service Association Local Government Forum in Auckland today signalled a welcome
change in the central Government’s attitude, said PSA National Secretary Richard Wagstaff today.
He was speaking at the first of a series of local government forums run by the PSA, where Sandra Lee was the keynote
“I was really encouraged to hear the Minister say the current review of the Local Government Act is not about staff
reduction and restructuring, or cost cutting, but about partnerships. We’ve seen too much erosion in the last several
years. A healthy future for local government is about restoring the democratic rights and principles that we saw
declining in the 80s and 90s,” he said.
“We’re delighted to see the Government’s enthusiasm for partnership and for actively building more effective forms of
democracy at all levels. I believe this will see more people participating in local government, and having more control
over their lives,” he said.
The Government is clearly behind an agenda of partnership and social inclusion, Richard Wagstaff said.