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David Carter

29 November, 2012

Local Government reform bill passes third reading

A bill implementing a programme to lift the performance and efficiency of local government has passed its third and final reading in Parliament.

Local Government Minister David Carter says the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill is an important milestone in progressing major reform of New Zealand’s local government sector.

New Zealand’s 78 local authorities make up 4% of GDP, spend $7.8 billion per year of public money and manage $120 billion worth of assets.

Mr Carter says the Bill refocuses the purpose of local government, introduces financial prudence requirements for local authorities, strengthens council governance provisions and streamlines council reorganisation procedures.

“The Bill’s passage today completes the first phase of the Government’s Better Local Government reforms which will focus local authorities on operating more efficiently and effectively, by doing things that only they can do.

“The reforms will help the local government sector play its part in growing the New Zealand economy.  Communities, businesses and households all stand to benefit from these changes.”

Mr Carter says the second part of the reform programme, which will include some non-statutory actions and a second bill proposed for 2013, is progressing well.