Local government

Local government in this country is not delivering to the expectations of communities, and not just in strife-torn Christchurch City, writes Mike MacLeod, chairman of the Draco Foundation.

### ODT Online Fri, 3 Feb 2012
Opinion
Christchurch symptomatic of system
By Mike MacLeod
If the local government sector was a person they would be ponderous, socially-inept and morally bankrupt. They would be filthy rich and very lazy. If you had a problem they would not care and if you complained because something they did hurt you or your family, their response would be “so sue me”.

Even though the Local Government Act 2002 clearly outlines how local authorities should be run, it seems to be treated more as a loose guideline than a statutory requirement. And there is absolutely no recourse open for the public to demand compliance with the Act, aside from the extreme provisions allowed to the minister.

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The Draco Foundation is dedicated to the protection and promotion of democracy and natural justice in New Zealand and among its many activities operates Council Watch and the National Residents Association Database. Further information can be found at www.civilsociety.org.nz (via ODT)

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

4 Comments

Filed under DCC, Economics, Geography, People, Politics

4 responses to “Local government

  1. Anonymous

    That opening sentence sums up perfectly the Chin/Harland council. The jury is still out on whether the council still is.

    (On a side note, while waiting to be served at the cafe beside the council today, a bloke stepped in front of me and when asked if he was next, made no attempt at being polite by correcting the question. I figured he was from the council based on the attitude and was proven correct as he flounced off into the customer services department with the all-too-familiar arrogance of council management.)

  2. Hype O'Thermia

    This may be worth passing around to people who want to find out how to “do something” but aren’t sure what they can do or how to go about it.

    http://www.councilwatch.org.nz/index.htm
    Topics listed include:

    Ask us for help
    Residents’ Associations
    Local advocates
    The media
    Your local MP
    Making submissions
    Research
    Case Studies ….

    “Selling the Family Silver: The Sale of Wellington Airport A Case Study in Local Government Decision Making
    We say: This is an ideal case that exposes the practices of decision-making used by local bodies.
    Any person who reads this case study will get a better idea of the behind-door discussions that take place and the highly political activities of (supposedly neutral) Council officers, put best by then-Mayor Blumsky:……”

    Councillor 2010 Survey
    Council responsibilities
    LGOIMA
    Local Government Act
    Powers of Councils
    Auditor General
    Minister of Local Government
    0800 Hotlines

  3. Elizabeth

    ### nzherald.co.nz 7:31 PM Monday Feb 20, 2012
    Local Government reform on the cards
    Changes to local government appear to be on the way, with Prime Minister John Key confirming Cabinet will be looking at the issue. Speaking at a post-Cabinet press conference this afternoon, Mr Key said there would be proposed changes about how local bodies operated, and the Government would be speaking to the sector. Local Government Minister Nick Smith had raised concerns specifically about the compound nature of rate rises over the seven or eight years, and Mr Key said the Government wanted to ensure things were running as efficiently as possible. APNZ
    Read more

  4. Hype O'Thermia

    Good lord, someone has dared to acknowledge the “compound nature of rate rises”! Up till now it’s all been “kept rises to x%” and the media’s idea of investigative journalism has been at best a comparison with average wage rises. No mention of e.g. 50c an hour for lowest paid, many of whom are in less than 40 hr /week jobs, and how many dollars more they get per year compared with how many more dollars they have to pay for the same food, school fees etc – and rates.

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