Tag Archives: Minister of Local Government

Northland council amalgamation

### radionz.co.nz Tuesday 12 November  -  12:20 pm NZT
(Updated 38 minutes ago)
RNZ News
Single council for Northland proposed
The Local Government Commission has recommended a single unitary council for the whole of Northland.
The commission at Waitangi on Tuesday revealed its draft proposal for reorganising local government in the region. It proposes one council and one mayor for Northland and a second tier of community boards.
A new nine-member council, to be based in Whangarei, would replace Far North District Council, Whangarei District Council, Kaipara District Council and Northland Regional Council.
The commission also proposes a special council committee to represent Northland’s large Maori population.
RNZ Link

Northland RC boundary map (400) 1

Related Posts and Comments:
29.6.13 Audit NZ and OAG clean bill of health —Suspicious!
21.4.13 Councils “in stchook” —finance & policy analyst Larry.N.Mitchell
19.3.12 Local government reform
21.2.12 Kaipara this time

Posted by Elizabet Kerr

2 Comments

Filed under Business, Democracy, Economics, Geography, Media, New Zealand, People, Politics, Project management

Local government reform

### stuff.co.nz Last updated 09:24 19/03/2012
Local government reform to be announced
By Danya Levy
The Government is expected to announce details of its local government reforms today which aim to reduce rates increases and curb council debt. Prime Minister John Key said this morning the Government believed the 7 per cent average rates increase since 2003 was too much for the community to shoulder. “We accept there are lots of arguments around infrastructure deficit and the cost of bitumen but overall we want to see that number lower,” he told Newstalk ZB.
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### scoop.co.nz Monday, 19 March 2012, 10:50 am
Government must give ratepayers greater protection
Press Release: NoMoreRates.Com
[Statement from David Thornton]
Government must give ratepayers greater protection from free-spending councils. Ratepayers around the country are looking for some solid changes to local councils when the Government makes its promised announcements on local government reform later today. While controls on rates and debt are the main issues there is also the question of limiting those council activities which lead to high debt and ever-increasing rates. This could need inserting new clauses in the Local Government Act clearly defining the services and facilities which councils can and cannot be involved in.
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Ms Sage hasn’t quite got it right, see Dunedin City Council’s unmanaged debt.

### scoop.co.nz Monday, 19 March 2012, 12:00 pm
Local Govt Reforms Driven By Ideology, Not Good Governance
Press Release: Green Party
A manufactured crisis is being used as an excuse to drive ideological changes to local government, the Green Party says. “Central government proposals to cap rates, limit council spending, and force amalgamations would further undermine local democracy,” Green Party local government spokesperson Eugenie Sage said. “The key challenges local authorities face are a backlog of infrastructure investment where populations are growing and their reliance on rates as their major funding source.”
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### scoop.co.nz Monday, 19 March 2012, 10:50 am
Government must give ratepayers greater protection
Press Release: NoMoreRates.Com
[Statement from David Thornton]
Government must give ratepayers greater protection from free-spending councils. Ratepayers around the country are looking for some solid changes to local councils when the Government makes its promised announcements on local government reform later today. While controls on rates and debt are the main issues there is also the question of limiting those council activities which lead to high debt and ever-increasing rates. This could need inserting new clauses in the Local Government Act clearly defining the services and facilities which councils can and cannot be involved in.
Read more

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### radionz.co.nz Updated at 6:15 am today
News
Cabinet to consider local government reforms
The Cabinet is to consider a range of proposals aimed at controlling growing costs in the local government sector. Local Government Minister Nick Smith has said his main concern is council spending and the financial burden of rates on households and businesses.
Read more

Related Posts:
12.3.12 DCC debt
7.3.12 D Scene: Call for full inquiry into stadium project
27.2.12 Bringing DCC councillors, staff, related entities and individuals to account
21.2.12 Kaipara this time
3.2.12 Local government
17.1.12 DCC living beyond its means [all spending and debt not declared]
4.7.11 Local government finances
16.6.11 “Dunedin” – we introduce Transparency International UK

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

14 Comments

Filed under DCC, Economics, Geography, People, Politics

DCC debt

### stuff.co.nz Last updated 05:00 11/03/2012
Politics
Councils borrowing billions
By Lois Cairns
Local councils have clocked up $1606 in debt for every man, woman and child in New Zealand at a time when the amount they expect people to pay in property taxes is rising steeply. Government figures released to the Sunday Star-Times show local councils are charging, per capita, an average of $951 in rates and that nationally, rates have risen an average of 7 per cent a year for the past decade. Over the same period council debt has ballooned from $1.8b to $7b.

Local Government Minister Nick Smith is worried councils are stretching themselves too far and has signalled changes to the sector. He is set to deliver policies in the next two months so local government can control costs and keep rate rises in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which has risen by around 2.2 per cent per annum over the past decade.

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The SST cites Council debt per capita eg Kaipara District $4142; Dunedin City $1920 (Source: Statistics New Zealand)… making DCC almost look good by comparison.

The problem with this is it’s not showing up Dunedin’s average debt per ratepayer at a massive $11,056 to 30 June 2011, compared to Kaipara at $4,395 – also derived from councils’ audited annual reports. See Russell Garbutt’s comment https://dunedinstadium.wordpress.com/2012/02/21/kaipara-this-time/#comment-22152

Lois Cairns for SST has gone off message for Dunedin’s debt crisis by using the alternative set of stats.

Dunedin City’s average debt per ratepayer currently sits at est. $16,000. Note the escalation from 30 June.

Related Posts:
9.3.12 DCC considers writing off ORFU’s $400,000 debt
4.3.12 The Press: fresh doubt on economic viability of stadium
27.2.12 DCC Statement of Public Debt Summary as at 31 December 2011
21.2.12 Kaipara this time
26.1.12 Stadium debt goes to 40-year term
17.1.12 DCC living beyond its means [all spending and debt not declared]

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

10 Comments

Filed under Business, CST, DCC, DCHL, DVL, DVML, Economics, Media, ORFU, Politics, Project management, Sport, Stadiums

DScene: Call for full inquiry into stadium project

Register to read DScene online at
http://fairfaxmedia.newspaperdirect.com/

### DScene 7.3.12
Open the books (front page)
Anti-stadium campaigner Bev Butler says an audit into the Forsyth Barr Stadium cost should just be the start; she is calling on Dunedin City Council to hold a full inquiry into the project. See page 3. #bookmark

Stadium inquiry demanded (page 3)
By Wilma McCorkindale
Stadium opponent Bev Butler has urged Local Government Minister Nick Smith to initiate a full inquiry into the project. Butler believed an inquiry would prove it simply too expensive to maintain empty and unused. Confidential documents obtained through the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act (LGOIMA) solidify Butler’s determination. She was heartened by the Dunedin City Council decision two weeks ago to commission a review of stadium completion figures by a PricewaterhouseCoopers forensic auditing team. But that wasn’t enough, she said.
{continues} #bookmark

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UPDATED 7.3.12 at 7:20 pm
Smell the Delta rat…

{storyline as published today at DScene is under review -Eds}
Delta pursues damages from councillor (page 5)
By Wilma McCorkindale #bookmark

Refer to the following news stories at ODT Online:
14.9.10 Swings hoping to sway voters
16.9.10 Candidate’s advertising sign sparks power cut
18.9.10 Candidates’ sign sites pose risks

UPDATED 8.3.12 at 7:05 pm
—— Forwarded Message
From: Lee Vandervis
Date: Thu, 08 Mar 2012 18:29:15 +1300
To: EditorDscene , “Wilma McCorkindale (STL)”
Conversation: Delta pursues damages from Councillor – misinformation
Subject: Delta pursues damages from Councillor – misinformation

Dear Mike and Wilma,

Delta pursues damages from Councillor – misinformation
I was very disappointed in your 7/3/12 article ‘Delta pursues damages from Councillor’, because of its judgemental presentation of untruths.
The damage done to a power cable by me is only alleged at this point, and did not happen last September as claimed but 18 months ago prior to the last local body election.
The claims that I personally hit a steel peg that pierced the cable and that it exploded are false, as the more accurate ODT articles on the issue in 2010 made clear.
The claim that Delta had heard nothing from me is false as I have verbally invited Delta to produce their evidence when they have rung.
Also false is the claim that my election sign was erected about 20 metres south of the Council designated site, as 2010 ODT photographs show.
If DScene staff had read relevant 2010 ODT reports, or told me what was claimed in this article, this belated misinformation could have been avoided.”

In the interests of accuracy and on-going good relations, I would appreciate you running this letter with similar prominence to the offending article in next week’s Dscene.

Regards,
Cr. Lee Vandervis

—— End of Forwarded Message

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

19 Comments

Filed under Business, Construction, CST, DCC, DCHL, Design, DVL, DVML, Economics, Media, ORC, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, Stadiums, STS

The Press: fresh doubt on economic viability of stadium

The city’s flash stadium and soaring debt highlight growing unease at local authority borrowing.

### stuff.co.nz Last updated 10:14 04/03/2012
A new house of pain for Dunedin
City’s spending in the spotlight
By Lois Cairns – The Press
Dunedin city’s finances are in the spotlight as the collapse of the Otago rugby union throws fresh doubt on the economic viability of its swanky stadium – which ratepayers will spend the next 40 years paying for. Dunedin’s overall debt has increased 1700 per cent to $586 million since 2000 and frustrated ratepayers say the debt carried by the council is too high for a city of Dunedin’s size and that unchecked spending, in particular on the controversial stadium, has saddled them with an unfair financial burden. The Dunedin City Council has ordered an independent review of the final cost of the Forsyth Barr Stadium in response to a report which raised serious questions over the amount it spent on the venue. Forensic accountants from PricewaterhouseCoopers are now combing through all the contracts and bills for the stadium to determine exactly how much money has been spent above the $198m budget. Russell Garbutt, the former chairman of Sport Otago, has been an outspoken critic of the council’s decision to fund the stadium, and said it was clear from day one the venture would be a financial disaster.
Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

10 Comments

Filed under Business, Construction, CST, DCC, DCHL, DVL, DVML, Economics, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, Stadiums