Social Development Partners' comment on Local Government Reform Bill

In their latest newsletter, Social Development Partners have expressed disappointment over the recent passing of the Local Government Reform Bill:

We are disappointed that last week the Bill implementing changes to local government was passed in Parliament.

These changes amend the stated purpose of local government to concentrate  on economic rather than social and community purposes, and impose additional central government  controls on local government.

This is driven by concerns about performance , efficiency and rising rates costs at a local level, which are issues we believe should be  managed at a local level through democratic and participative local processes,  rather than be defined by central government.

We had made strong submissions in opposition to these changes, stating that they undermine the role of local government in local communities, and do nothing to support the role of local councils in creating strong relationships and innovations in their communities.

We are also aware that the Auckland Council is managed by separate legislation, creating fragmentation and inconsistency at a time that there  are active and important debates about the functions and structure of local government in many regions.

There is a further reform Bill planned for 2013, and we will continue to keep abreast of these issues from a community organisation perspective.

Also, be sure to read our previous comments on this issue in From 4 ‘Wellbeings’ to 4 ‘Rs’?

Source: Social Development Partners