Proposed local government changes will reduce community voice
Proposed changes to local government will mean citizens will have less say in the development of their communities, the
Public Service Association told a parliamentary select committee to today.
The committee is hearing submissions on the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill.
“If this Bill is passed unchanged, it will give central government greater powers to interfere in the affairs of local
communities and ratepayers will have less say in shaping their communities,” says Brenda Pilott, PSA National Secretary.
“Already, we’ve seen the Government step in twice and deprive Christchurch people of their democratic right to elect
councillors to Environment Canterbury. This Bill will only increase the opportunity and temptation to meddle in local
The proposed changes will make local councils narrow their focus to undefined “core responsibilities” in a way “that is
most cost-effective for households and businesses”.
“While no one’s arguing that ratepayer dollars need to be spent wisely, we’re worried what these changes will mean in
practice. It could see local bodies having to get rid of assets like ports, airport or electricity distribution
companies which will impact on local body revenue and potentially rates.”
“The legislation is being pushed through with little analysis or consultation with the local government sector.
“Most local councils have done an excellent job in helping make our communities great places to live. They don’t deserve
to have these changes foisted on them and the Government has no right to deprive citizens of a say in their
The PSA’s full submission on Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill is available here