Weekend Reading

17 Jul

From the Timaru Herald Weekender

Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) chief executive Malcolm Alexander said the bill did have positive components, including the reintroduction of compulsory community polls for most bills on council reorganisation.

However, it enabled the creation of Council Controlled Organisations (CCOs), which would be responsible for the delivery of a significant service or activity on behalf of the council, without the approval of the council, he said.

These CCOs could cover delivering water, transport or roading services.

‘‘The commission is going to be given the power to do it directly over the council’s own activities. We don’t regard this as particularly democratic.’’

Removing some of the key assets, such as water services, would take a large part of a council’s budgeted activity away – up to 75 per cent for some councils, he said. The councils would not have a lot to do and amalgamation could become a real prospect for some smaller councils, Alexander said.

Looks like I have my weekend reading sorted – The Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2).

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9 Responses to “Weekend Reading”

  1. rot and graft soon to follow July 17, 2016 at 10:41 am #

    Nothing like putting the Mock in Democracy is there /

    • Kylie July 17, 2016 at 11:16 am #

      I’ve only just started reading but as long as they are only investigating I can’t see a problem….
      “The Local Government Act 2002 (the Act) currently allows the Local Government Commission (the Commission) to respond to applications for reorganisation submitted by councils or members of the community, but it cannot initiate investigations. This Bill provides discretionary powers to the Commission to enable it to decide what investigations it will undertake. This will be either on its own initiative or in response to a request from the Minister of Local Government, local authorities, or members of the public.

      The increased powers of the Commission in the Bill are accompanied by appropriate checks and balances. The Commission will have to follow statutory guidance for reorganisations. It will be guided by criteria about what it investigates, the processes by which it does so (including public engagement), and what it seeks to achieve. The use of polls will remain if the Commission proposes to abolish, constitute, or amalgamate local authorities. Polls will also be introduced for a major transfer of water, transport, or Resource Management Act 1991 functions from one local authority to another. ”

      BTW Submissions close in 11 days

  2. Phil T July 17, 2016 at 11:26 am #

    The theory is sound but where it went wrong is our council failed to put a clear break between elected councilors and company directors. The crossover means the companies will never achieve what the legislation intended. Bit like the old adage around the gamekeeper poacher. Mix up the roles and the big loser is the landowner or in our case the ratepayer.
    People down in the south quickly understood there was a golden goose to be plucked and they have done so with gusto for far to long.
    It is essentially a corrupted system being used for momentary gain by people who should know better but think why not because everyone else is.
    In the meantime everything that a company should be about is being forgotten. The councils property company is a classic where directors fees are greater than the money earned by the company. The airport company is underperforming and many people are travelling out of town to catch flights meaning AirNZ can cut flights but who around the council table will ask the hard questions while the Mayor is a director. It is not serving the people of the south well and all you will ever hear will be excuses. Look at the Queenstown model and it quickly becomes obvious how well the separation works with more flights and people through the door. And many Invercargill people travelling the 2 hours to take advantage of a well run airport and the benefits that brings.

  3. Kylie July 17, 2016 at 11:33 am #

    I’m liking some parts of this amendment!!!

    Clause 23 amends section 57, which relates to the appointment of directors to council-controlled organisations. The amendment adds restrictions that prohibit a person being both a director of a multiply owned substantive council-controlled organisation, and also a member of the governing body, a local board, or a community board of a local authority that is a shareholder in that council-controlled organisation.

    • Phil T July 17, 2016 at 7:02 pm #

      How can that be considering the present practice in Invercargill? Does it come down to the wording “substantive”

      • Realist July 17, 2016 at 9:56 pm #

        2 words, multiply owned (most are singular) and substantive (those are usually solely owned).
        The simply fact with ICC is there are too many boards and too many council directors, if there are to be any it should be 1 on the holding company and that board should effectively be able to deal with other CCO matters to reduce boards and fees

      • Kylie July 17, 2016 at 10:39 pm #

        This will only be once this amendment passes and initially I thought only on CCO’s owned by more than one local authority. But the substantive definition is
        ” A substantive council-controlled organisation is a council-controlled organisation that is wholly owned by 1 or more local authorities (other than the Auckland Council) and that—

        owns or manages assets with a value of more than $10 million; or

        is a water services council-controlled organisation; or

        is a transport services council-controlled organisation; or

        is agreed by all shareholders to be a substantive council-controlled organisation.”

      • Kylie July 17, 2016 at 10:48 pm #

        Bugger!! The appointments clause is only on multiply owned substantive cco’s. I will be submitting in support of ALL substantive CCO’s with a request that it be extended to all CCO director apptmnts

  4. Kylie July 17, 2016 at 10:33 pm #

    This is only at select committee atm but even if it is only ‘multiply-owned’, it is a start and here’s hoping it is a sign of things to come. I would like to submit in support of that clause and extending it to future appointments to all boards of CCO’s.

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