The Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (The Bill) is part of the Government’s wider reform of local government.
In March this year the then Minister of Local Government Hon Nick Smith put out a policy paper outlining four areas of change for the Local Government Act 2002 (“the Act”) to be made in 2012 and four additional areas for change in 2013.
The policy paper stated that a bill would be introduced in May 2012. Despite the change in Minister the Bill was introduced on the 30 May with it’s first reading on 12 June.
The Bill has been sent to the Local Government and Environment Select Committee to hear submissions and report back to parliament by 15 October 2012. The closing date for submissions is the 26th July.
We believe the content and potential impact of the nature of this Bill is very concerning for democracy and communities and we urge all community organisations make submissions to the Bill.
Summary of the Reforms
The stated goal of the Bill is to “improve the legislative framework for councils throughout New Zealand”.
The eight ‘reforms’ are:
1) Refocus the purpose of local government
2) Introduce fiscal responsibility requirements
3) Strengthen council governance provisions, including strengthening mayoral powers
4) Streamline Council reorganisation procedures
5) Establish a local government efficiency taskforce
6) Develop a framework for central/local government regulatory roles
7) Investigate the efficiency of local government infrastructure provision
8) Review use of development contributions.
9) The Bill seeks to implement the first four points of the programme by the end of 2012 and introduce the second four points with the second Local Government Reform Bill proposed for 2013. (Government Update June 2012)
For more information on the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill
Source: North Shore Community and Social Services – Submission