Stop the power grab

Written By: - Date published: 10:51 am, July 23rd, 2012 - 4 comments
Categories: community democracy, local government - Tags:

I did posts on submitting against National’s Local Government Bill a while ago, but the end date for submissions is on the 26th, so here’s a reminder.

The government’s bill will further move power to Wellington.  We are already a very centralised country, politically speaking, and this will give more say to central government.

Ministers will be able to dissolve councils with an Order in Council, rather than with parliamentary scrutiny, and can also delay elections easily.  Similarly, amalgamations against the local populace’s will are made much easier (/possible).

It significantly reduces the remit of local government.  The previous Act was lauded internationally as it told Councils to provide for “the social, economic, environmental and cultural wellbeing of communities”.  The new Act changes that to “local infrastructure, local public services, and performance of regulatory functions”; This provision must be “in a way that is most cost-effective for households and businesses.”

The change in focus will mean that councils should no longer fund activities based on wellbeing that cannot be considered a “local public service” – with debate over what is local or public service. The focus shifts from community outcomes to the “least cost” delivery of services. It also substantially reduces the requirement for input from the community and the need for consultation.

So essentially, instead of being able to elect local people to do what we want locally, they will be proscribed by Wellington, and forced to have a remit of lower rates over better quality or quantity of services, whether locals want that or not.  Central Government will be able to demand lower spending, less debt and no or very low rates increases if it so wishes.

Does this sound like local or community democracy to you?  Or a power-grab from National?

Submit here.

4 comments on “Stop the power grab”

  1. How about this for a compelling, utterly convincing justification for the changes.

    This is from the Regulatory Impact Statement that was prepared by Internal Affairs for the bill.

    ““There is limited evidence to inform the development of these proposals, and the timeframe within which the proposals have been developed has restricted the ability to assess multiple options. As a result, the problem analysis and option assessments of specific proposals rely on assumptions that are not, or only partially, tested. The extent of the uncertainties and risks are identified and discussed for each proposal.”  And further, “[t]here is no clear quantitative evidence to suggest that the LGA02 has resulted in a proliferation of new activities, or that local government is undertaking a wider group of functions.”

    Why is the Government doing this again?

  2. Draco T Bastard 2

    This is just another ideological and authoritarian move from NACT. They really are trying to take us back to the time of Absolute Rule. You can see this in their every action and yet people seem to not want to believe it.

    NACT will take just as much notice of any submissions as they did over selling state assets. We lost our democracy the day we voted these dictators into power.

    • Carol 2.1

      It’s what my friend in the UK is now referring to as the “capitalist coup”. What will it take to wake up more people diverted by shiny toys, heavy work-loads, and or compensations for their powerlessness?

  3. ak 3

    At last.

    Talkback government at the bottom of the barrel.

    So bereft of targets they’re down to eating the children.

    Tory children with unlimited money in the crucial hinterlands.

    Children with large advertising budgets.

    And bigger egos.

    Entertainment bonanza.

    Ligtning flip-flop and Smith in the cannon

    Or shoot-em-up thrills and court drama to infinity.

    Now on!

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