Central government vs Local body government | The Jackal

5 Mar 2012

Central government vs Local body government

Today, The Dominion Post reports:

John Key's government is remarkable for many reasons, particularly its enthusiasm for staking its future on illogical but politically expedient policies.

Its plans for local government reform is only the latest in a long list running from its refusal to raise the superannuation age to selling state assets for no economic benefit.

It resolutely sticks to these positions in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. For example, even its own recently released budget policy statement showed the fiscal nonsense of selling SOEs.

But with local government reform the government's illogicality reaches new and even more destructive heights.


And the local funding options will only get far tighter, as Smith says of his local government reforms. It is also clear he intends to claw back many of local government's environmental remits to the central government Environmental Protection Authority he is championing.

Fleeced of financial resources and environmental responsibilities, unitary councils would be next to useless. But Smith's plans are bigger than that. He intends to strip back the responsibilities of all councils to the likes of roads, rubbish, sewerage, footpaths, street lighting, parks and libraries.

Very well said Rod Oram.

The interesting thing about this is that council's are usually predominated by politically right leaning people, who should understand that for them, National's policy direction is leading to a dead end.

I bet some councillor's are scratching their heads about now and wondering why they voted for John Key at all. His restructuring is in fact contrary to many previous National government's policy directives.

There is no doubt that National is eroding its core support, and political betrayal is seldom forgiven.

Hopefully councillor's and the wider public in general understand that National's counterproductive austerity measures will actually increase costs while reducing the decision-making ability of local authorities.

People who have a vested interest in their communities are always going to be better suited to make financial decisions about their jurisdictions.

Ratepayers need to realize that rates will increase faster than a speeding bullet while services decline into third world conditions. There will be less infrastructure maintenance, which will lead to further costs being placed onto the public when things go wrong.

The Keys party are hell bent on following their ideologically defunct policies that have no economic, social or environmental benefit for New Zealand. Degrading these and the financial viability of our Council's will benefit nobody.