4 Sep 2016

Labour pulls support for local government reform

10:57 am on 4 September 2016

The Labour Party has withdrawn its support for the local government reform bill, saying the government is not listening to widespread concern about it.

Labour MP Meka Whaitiri

Meka Whaitiri says the government's consultation on the bill is inadequate. Photo: SUPPLIED

The bill, which allows Council Controlled Organisations to be created without the agreement of councils or the community, is opposed by almost every council and mayor in the country.

Labour had previously supported the bill up to its select committee stage.

Labour's local government spokesperson Meka Whaitiri said the minister responsible for the legislation, Sam Lotu-Iiga, looked out of touch.

"It doesn't look good for the Minister at all, it looks like he is completely out of touch.

"He hasn't sought the wisdom and experience of Local Government New Zealand. He hasn't acted appropriately, in my estimation, to those concerns."

Ms Whaitiri said the government's consultation was inadequate and the bill cannot go ahead as it is.