Lately BayBuzz been suggesting (here and here) that Local Government Minister Nick Smith is unhappy about the state of local government and might have a few ‘reforms’ to propose.

Political commentator Jane Clifton, writing in the February 23rd Listener , puts it more sharply. Here’s her story lead:

“…in an unexpected lightning-strike on the sector, the Government is about to announce a top-to-bottom reform of local authorities, the principal aim being to restrict the ambit of council activities, their ability to borrow, and their ability to keep cranking up rates. Although Local Government Minister Nick Smith is keen to stress that he wants to work with councils, rather than against them, he has also made it clear radical change is on the agenda. Like abolishing regional councils, for example, and encouraging more amalgamation.

Her article, Tackling our rising rates, is ‘must-read’ for anyone trying to sort out where the governance debate — or non-debate, if you’re a Napier mayor or councillor — in Hawke’s Bay is heading.

Tom Belford

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1 Comment

  1. What news about this from Lawrence Yule in his capacity as President of Local Authorities? Does he approve of the Nick Smith stance or is he supportive of the status quo?

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