26 Sep 2012

Councils not fiscally irresponsible - report

10:09 pm on 26 September 2012

Council debt in New Zealand is relatively well-managed, a new report indicates.

The Institute of Economic Research report, commissioned by Local Government New Zealand, looks at whether the Local Government sector is fiscally responsible.

The Institute says council spending has risen, but only slightly, with increases relative to properly values or GDP.

The report says, across the local government sector, debt levels and interest payments are still within prudent levels.

There is no consistent evidence that local government as a whole has been fiscally irresponsible over the last two decades.

That's despite the fact that government-appointed commissioners are running the Kaipara District Council, juggling with a rates revolt after the council built up a mountain of debt.

Dunedin City Council is also struggling with rising debts due mainly to its $200 million stadium.