Friday, September 17, 2021
Times of Georgia
HomePoliticalEnshrine Local Government Into Construction

Enshrine Local Government Into Construction


Major changes are in the wind with the Labour government
is giving itself unprecedented powers over local government.
This is worrying and why KCDC Councillor Bernie Randall and
Deputy Chair of the Paraparaumu/Raumati Community Board Guy
Burns are calling for local government to be entrenched
within the New Zealand Constitution Act.

There are
perils ahead regarding the proposed Three Waters project
which is being fast-tracked upon local government. This is a
project where drinking water, stormwater and waste water
will be taken from local councils and administered
nationally. There are also big changes signalled to the
Resource Management Act as well as a major review into the
future of local government. These changes diminish local
decision making by giving unprecedented powers to central
government.

A Labour government has never been afraid
of its local government counterparts. Parliament could
abolish all 78 councils if it really wanted to. Such powers
were last used in 1989 when parliament amalgamated 850 local
bodes into 86.

The concentration of power to the
central state will weaken democracy and make local leaders
dependent on the whims of central government and its
ministers. Having the principles of local government
entrenched into a Constitution will forestall any attempt to
diminish local government in favour of centralised
rule.

The New Zealand Constitution Act 1986 could be
amended to recognise and strengthen local government’s
role in the governance of the nation. A statute which is
fixed cannot be changed unless that change is supported by
75 per cent of parliamentarians. Councillor Bernie Randall
and Deputy Chair Guy Burns believe that the Local Government
Act should be entrenched.

Councils represent all the
people of New Zealand. In 2013 local authorities voted
unanimously in support of a remit that local Government New
Zealand promote an amendment to the Constitution Act 1986
giving constitutional expression to local government. Such
change is commended as local government must be safe guarded
from any future constitutional arrangements that will emerge
out of the current major reviews and plans currently being
dictated at local councils.

OPINION by:

Guy
Burns

Deputy Chair Raumati Paraparaumu Community
Board

and

Bernie Randall

Kapiti Coast
District Council
Councillor

© Scoop Media

 



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