Hawke’s Bay Today recently ran a column titled “Become involved or get what you deserve” by Bruce Bisset.

The column argues that voters — an apathetic bunch — don’t seem to recognize that local councils have taken on more, and more important, responsibilities in recent years. Says Bisset: “Perhaps if voters took their blinkers off and realised just how much impact a local council has on their lives — more than central Government on an everyday basis — they would not be so apathetically uninvolved with the process of electing their councillors.”

BayBuzz wonders, how much do voters really know about their councils? So, we’ve put together a short quiz to test your Local Government IQ.

Please take the quiz and email us your answers … if you dare! We will happily publish the names of any readers with a perfect score.

Local Government IQ Quiz

1. True or false: Each by-law enacted by a council must be re-evaluated every 10 years.
2. True or false: Councillors must file a declaration of interests each year disclosing their personal financial interests.
3. In which case must a council conduct a popular referendum? Pick one: a) to raise rates more than 5%; b) to shut down water services in an area; c) to purchase land for a reserve
4. True or false: Councillors may instruct or reprimand individual members of the council staff.
5. A councillor may personally benefit from a council contract so long as the value of that contract is no more than (pick one): a) $5,000; b) $25,000; c) $50,000
6. True or false: It is against the law to waste water.
7. True or false: Each Councillor is required to maintain a public email address to facilitate contact from his/her electorate.
8. True or false: Votes taken by Councillors must be recorded in meeting minutes and must always be made public.
9. Which of these areas does your council NOT regulate? Pick one: a) prostitution; b) public liquor consumption; c) air pollution from local school buses
10. Can you name the Chief Executive for your council? Name: __________

We look forward to those perfect scores!

And here’s where you can read Bruce Bisset’s column yourself. Download bisset_column.doc

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