Ashburton District Council has made a submission asking for the Local Government Act Amendment Bill to be withdrawn, citing concerns over the Bill's impact on local democracy.
The Council presented their submission to the Local Government and Environment select committee in Christchurch yesterday, supporting the position of Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ), the Society of Local Government Managers (SOLGM) and the Canterbury Mayoral Forum that the proposed Bill would undermine the purpose of local government.
"Council is particularly concerned about the implications of the Bill. In our view, the Bill undermines our role, and we oppose any action that would weaken our ability to enable democratic local decision-making," Council Chief Executive Andrew Dalziel says.
The Local Government Act Amendment Bill promotes the centralised control of local community assets. It is feared the Bill will take away local community's control over decisions regarding core council services.
"Our submission on the Bill aligns with the positions of LGNZ, SOLGM and the Canterbury Mayoral Forum, and provides specific examples of concerns that we commonly share with other councils. In our view, the Minister of Local Government and the Department of Internal Affairs should work closer with LGNZ and SOLGM to find workable solutions that will support greater collaboration between territorial authorities."
Ashburton District Council joined 18 other councils and organisations presenting their submissions on the Local Government Act Amendment Bill yesterday in Wellington and Christchurch.