GOVERNMENT URGES LOCAL AUTHORITIES TO CONSULT ON ASSET SALES

  • Maurice Williamson
Local Government

The Government has sent a letter to all local authorities urging them to consult widely before selling all or part of community assets, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Local Government Minister Maurice Willamson said today.

"The Government is concerned that some local authorities are not satisfactorily consulting ratepayers or consumers when selling
community assets," the Ministers said.

"Such consultation is one of the key objectives of the new financial management provisions of the Local Government Amendment Act (No. 3) 1996, which comes into force on 1 July.

Nine local authorities have been working to these new provisions since July last year, and it is expected all other local authorities will follow their lead.

Mr Peters and Mr Williamson said the Government would monitor local authorities' compliance with their request for more consultation. "If there is an unfavourable response, the Government will consider stronger measures," they said.

"The Government believes in democracy and fairness and the policy of consultation reflects that belief. We hope local authorities share that view," the Ministers said.