Central And Local Government Work Together

  • Maurice Williamson

Yesterday's Local Government Summit on Y2K was an excellent example of Central and Local Government working together on the year 2000 problem, Communications Minister Maurice Williamson said today.

He was responding to comments made by United MP Peter Dunne, who has said Central Government was not listening to its local counterpart.

"This was an opportunity for major sectors such as banking, telecomunications and electricity to inform local councils of the work they have done to alleviate the problem and how this affected regions."

The Y2K Readiness Commission joined forces with Local Government New Zealand to stage the event, which was addressed by both Mr Williamson and Prime Minister Jenny Shipley.

"We're encouraging the major sectors to communicate with local government, but local government itself must play its part in addressing the problem and informing ratepayers," said Mr Williamson. "A recent letter I sent to local authorities to determine their readiness was answered by less than half."

"The Y2K Readiness Commission has a wealth of information on its website which I encourage local councils to read and more importantly, to contribute to."

Mr Williamson said the Good Samaritan Legislation, expected to be passed on May 18, would increase the opportunity of councils to share information between themselves and to enhance their ability to improve contingency plans.

"Yesterday's Summit showed there was room for improvements in communication, but that was the idea of staging it," he said.

Mr Williamson said the State Services Commission Y2K Project Office had had face to face meetings with all high risk Central Government agencies and as these developed the specifics of how they were handling Y2K, the information would be made public.

"All these initiatives are probably why Microsoft's Year 2000 Policy Chief Richard Kaplan was reported as saying this Government's Y2K readiness campaign is a world leader."