30 Jul 2016

Concern council change could reduce community voice

12:23 pm on 30 July 2016

The Invercargill City Council wants Southlanders to fight proposed legislation which it says attacks local democracy through the amalgamation of services.

Submissions closed this week on the Better Local Services Bill, which aims to improve service delivery and infrastructure arrangements at council level.

Local Government president Lawrence Yule said some councils were worried that Council Controlled Organisations could be created without council or community input.

Mr Yule said that could strip rural and provincial councils of any significant decision-making powers.

In Invercargill, the city's mayor and the council's 12 councillors have taken a full page in The Southland Times, urging Southlanders to unite against the Bill.

Tim Shadbolt


Councillors said the Bill gave wider powers to the Wellington based Local Government Commission to impose major changes on local communities, leaving councils and residents powerless to challenge them.

In an open letter to the Prime Minister, mayor Tim Shadbolt says he has no other option than to vigorously oppose the government's latest attempt to reform local government.