17 Sep 2012

Farmers group supports local government overhaul

2:55 pm on 17 September 2012

A farmer ratepayers' group in Horowhenua says proposed changes to the way local government operates, should help redirect rate money away from luxuries and back to basics.

A Parliamentary select committee is hearing submissions on a bill that would control local government spending and reduce rates increases by requiring councils to focus on their core business.

The Horowhenua Farmers Ratepayers Group supports the legislation.

Spokesperson Chris Mitchell says local rural rates have risen about 30% in the past three years while basic infrastructure seems to be crumbling.

She says there has been an increase in spending on grants, subsidies, employees' salaries and interest, as well as a number of expensive building projects.

The select committee is due to report back to Parliament by November.