INDEPENDENT NEWS

Stop the Local Government Bill

Published: Mon 23 Sep 2002 08:22 AM
Stop the Local Government Bill
Federated Farmers and the Local Government Forum have launched a petition seeking to stop the Local Government Bill.
"If you run a business or a farm you should be very anxious about this Bill and the increased rates you could end up paying as a result," says Federated Farmer's National Vice President Charlie Pedersen.
"The Government is determined to pass the Local Government Bill that would allow local authorities the "Power of General Competence" and empower them to promote "social, economic, environmental, and cultural well-being" without any definitions about what this means.
"There are no adequate checks and balances apart from 'consultation', which many have come to regard as a 'sham' - a fact already acknowledged by the Auditor General.
"Without the functions of local authorities being limited by law, council activities could spiral out of control and impose increasing costs that will be borne disproportionately by farmers and businesses without any regard for the level of service received.
"The petition also requests that Government undertake an integrated first-principles review of the functions, powers, and funding of local authorities, involving representatives from local and central government, business organisations, and ratepayer groups.
"Unless this Bill is stopped, or the system of rating is changed to protect business and farmer ratepayers from spiralling cost increases, the situation will get worse rather than better."
Petition forms are available from Nigel Billings, Federated Farmers, PH 0800 327 646 or mailto:nbillings@fedfarm.org.nz

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