The Government will co-invest up to $600 million alongside local councils and private investors in network infrastructure for big new housing developments through a re-purposed ultra-fast broadband company, Finance Minister Steven Joyce and Local Government Minister Anne Tolley say.
Local Government Minister Anne Tolley and Civil Defence Minister Nathan Guy today announced Budget 2017 provides $6 million to part fund emergency water supplies in the Wellington region.
“The Government is committed to improving New Zealand’s resilience to natural hazards,” says Mrs Tolley.
“We’ve worked closely with the Mayors of Wellington, Porirua, Upper and Lower Hutt, as well as the Greater Wellington Regional Council, to develop a plan to improve the region’s water resilience.
Associate Minister of Local Government Jacqui Dean has announced the appointment of Peter Winder as Crown Manager to support the Kaipara District Council.
Mr Winder will begin his appointment from 20 June and will provide direction to the Council on a range of historic legal cases. This will enable the Council to focus on its day-to-day work without the distractions of managing these historic legal cases.
Associate Minister of Local Government Jacqui Dean today announced that she is withdrawing Crown Manager, Peter Winder, from the Kaipara District Council because of technical uncertainties about his appointment.
“The Kaipara District Council is transitioning well back to local governance, led by the strong leadership of the locally elected Mayor and Councillors. It is unfortunate I have to withdraw Peter Winder from his appointment as Crown Manager to the Council,” says Ms Dean.
The Government has approved grants to 32 territorial authorities to subsidise neutering for menacing dogs, Associate Minister for Local Government Jacqui Dean has announced today.
An $850,000 pool of Government funding to subsidise neutering is part of the national action plan to reduce the risk and harm of dog attacks which was announced in late 2016.
“These neutering programmes will help make our communities safer by reducing the risk of dog attacks,” says Ms Dean.
Local Government Minister Anne Tolley has announced the appointment of Brendan Duffy as a temporary member of the Local Government Commission.
Mr Duffy has had a long career in local government having held the roles of Councillor for 10 years, then Mayor of the Horowhenua District Council for 12 years. He is currently the Deputy Chair of the MidCentral District Health Board. Mr Duffy is also a Justice of the Peace.
Mrs Tolley said the appointment of Mr Duffy will assist the Commission with its reorganisation work, particularly in the Wairarapa.
Education Minister Hekia Parata and Pacific Peoples Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga today welcomed the release of dual language resources for Pasifika new entrant students.
The resources comprise 100 dual-language flip books, audio and online resources in five Pasifika languages – Samoan, Tongan, Tokelauan, Cook Islands Māori and Niuean – and English, as well as supporting materials for teachers and parents.
The Associate Minister of Local Government Louise Upston has announced a second tranche of proposals as part of the national action plan to reduce the risk and harm of dog attacks.
The additional changes made in this second tranche will ensure the owners of high-risk dogs are fit for the job, introduce stricter penalties for owners of dogs that attack, and improve data about dog attacks.
Local Government and Ethnic Communities Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga leaves for China today to discuss issues across both portfolios.
“This is an opportunity to further strengthen New Zealand’s relationship with China and reinforce the important ties between the peoples of China and New Zealand,” Mr Lotu-Iiga says.
Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith and Associate Minister of Local Government Louise Upston today announced the appointment of six members to Environment Canterbury, to complement the seven members elected in the recent local authority elections.
The appointed members are: David Bedford, Hon David Caygill CNZM, Iaean Cranwell, Elizabeth Cunningham JP, Thomas Lambie ONZM and Professor Peter Skelton CNZM.
Local Government Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has commissioned a joint working group to improve the effectiveness and reliability of the local bylaws system and specifically prioritising the freedom camping regime.
“Last year nearly 44,000 international visitors went freedom camping while they were here. As well a growing number of New Zealanders also travel the country by campervan, in commercial rental vehicles or in their own cars,” Mr Lotu-Iiga says.
Associate Local Government Minister Louise Upston today announced the appointment of Barry Harris as a Crown Observer to support the newly-elected Kaipara District Council settle into its new governance arrangement.
“Mr Harris is very experienced in local government and will be helping to support the Kaipara District Council as it settles in,” Ms Upston says.
“He has a strong background in governance and local government, having held directorships in the public and private sectors and chief executive positions at several councils.”
Local Government Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga today congratulated the successful candidates in the 2016 local authority elections.
“Representing your community’s best interests requires commitment, energy and leadership. Thank you for standing and serving your local communities,” Mr Lotu-Iiga says.
“Congratulations to the new Auckland Mayor Phil Goff and to the new Wellington Mayor Justin Lester. Well done also to Lianne Dalziel who has retained the Christchurch mayoralty.”
Local Government Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga says the rules around rates rebates for people who live in retirement villages need to be looked at.
“Most people living in retirement villages do not own their home but have a Licence to Occupy arrangement instead. As a result, they are not directly liable for paying rates to the council and do not qualify for a rebate under the Rates Rebate Scheme,” Mr Lotu-Iiga says.
The Rates Rebate Scheme was established in the 1970s to assist home owners on low incomes to pay their council rates.
The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2).
“This will enable more rigorous analysis of submissions and more constructive dialogue with the local government sector,” Mr Lotu-Iiga says.
“There were nearly 200 submissions on the Bill. Many contain details which need to be worked through with officials to ensure they will work.”
Today Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government, announced a new national action plan to reduce risk and prevent harm from dog attacks.
Under this action plan high risk dogs and their owners, rather than all dogs and owners, will be subject to stricter controls under changes to dog control laws. This will compliment a renewed focus on education, as well as new work with local government on best practice guidelines for councils.
Associate Minister of Local Government Louise Upston today expressed thanks to the more than 3000 people who made submissions on New Zealand’s dog control laws.
“This huge response shows how passionate Kiwis are about our dogs and the need to improve safety around dogs.”
Of the 3,096 people who responded to the survey, 84% were dog owners and 48% were particularly concerned about dog attacks.
Respondents overwhelmingly identified dog owners and poor education about dog behaviour as the two biggest contributing factors to dog attacks.
Local Government Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga today welcomed the Auditor General’s report on how Auckland Council responds to complaints.
“The public needs to know that they can make complaints to public organisations such as Auckland Council and trust those complaints will be dealt with fairly and effectively,” Mr Lotu-Iiga says.
“The report is generally positive about the Council’s complaints processes. Overall, the number of complaints has fallen.”
Local Government Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga today announced the appointment of Geoff Dangerfield as a temporary member of the Local Government Commission (LGC).
“The appointment of Mr Dangerfield will help the Commission consider reorganisation applications within Auckland. He has extensive public sector governance experience and a strong understanding of local government,” Mr Lotu-Iiga says.
Mr Dangerfield is a former chief executive of both the New Zealand Transport Agency and the Ministry of Economic Development.
Local Government Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga is encouraging those thinking about standing in this year’s local elections to get their nominations in on time.
Nominations close in 24 hours, at midday tomorrow.
“Councils manage more than $96 billion in fixed assets and contribute more than $8 billion to New Zealand’s GDP each year. Good local governance is at the heart of the prosperity of local communities and growth at a national level,” Mr Lotu-Iiga says.
Associate Minister of Local Government Louise Upston today opened feedback on dog control rules. From 1 August through to 14 August you can share your views on how to reduce dog attacks.
Ms Upston says “our dog control laws value the role of dogs as pets, companions, and valued contributors to sectors of our economy and this will continue to be the case. But we need to find ways to reduce the danger posed by high-risk dogs and irresponsible dog owners.”
The Government is considering ways to improve the management of freedom camping which could include widening councils’ infringement powers, says local government Minister Hon Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga.
Minister Lotu-Iiga is responding to reports that Christchurch City Council is consulting on a blanket ban on freedom camping in vehicles without self-contained toilet facilities.