150th 2009 amalgamation annual plan asbestos community costs council councils employment graffiti growth health history hospital jobs lgnz conference 2009 liquor local government act 2002 local government conference 2009 ltccp mayoral taskforce for jobs meetings networking osh positive postive growth public good rates recession relection review savings shared services submissions waipawa water youth youth council zone 3
Another year gone by and with reflection comes appreciation of the privilege and opportunities afforded as Mayor of our District.
The mood lightened today at conference when the Hon John Carter, Associate Minister of Local Government , engendered some confidence and hope with the occasion injection of humour into local politics. Why - there is now no plan to cap rates, there is a review underway of the Building and Resource Management Acts to cut red tape and reduce the cost of compliance, a moritorium on the Drinking Water Standards for 3 years to allow further investigation, a review of the auditing timelines and associated costs. A review of the Local government Act 2002 is looking to simplify the LTCCP and annual accounts, consider councils publishing a pre-election fiscal update and strategy, have plain english financial disclosures, review community outcomes process and more. All this is from our Government whose representatives including our Prime Minister reiterated throughout their speeches their committment to eliminate what holds NZ back and ensure ratepayers receive value for Money. I with the majority was heartened by these favourable proposed changes as all ratepayers will be. So now we are informed of why things had to change, what is to change and how these will benefit us all. I agree the government has been listening and with the significant inroads into political thinking over the past six months, we received a good positive wrap up to a good conference.
Today Minister Rodney Hide has addressed some 600 attendees here in Christchurch at the Local Government NZ conference with a message of ''Is what we doing going to make the boat go faster''. i.e. Improve our economic performance. If not - then that is what is wanted. I believe the review of the Local Government Act 2002 amongst other points looks at the core roles of councils indicating these should include transport, water services, public health an safety. Along with the Ministers' own platitude of an excellent Education project in Manukau and I quote 'COMET taught me the crucial role Local Government can play in better directing and facilitating centrally funded programmes such as education" and then the Hon. John Carter addressing us on the benefit of good Aging Strategy's from our councils, Judge Andrew Beacroft seeking Councils help with Youth offending - I like others was a litte confused on exactly where we were to row the boat to. But then there was mention of the use of binding polls or referenda. So I gather if the poll or referenda says we can provide these services - then we can. I couldn't imagine not working with the many agencies we do for the wider good of our community.
So - interesting times in Local Government.