Bill will restore democracy to local councils

A new Labour Member’s Bill will restore democracy to local authorities and stop amalgamations being forced on councils.

Napier MP Stuart Nash’s Local Government Act 2002 (Greater Local Democracy) Bill will be debated by Parliament after being pulled from the Member’s ballot today.

Stuart Nash says the National Government opened the door to forced super councils through its local government reforms in 2012.

“My Bill will reinstate the requirement for a ratepayer referendum to be held in each affected district or region to ensure there is majority support for any amalgamation.

“This is particularly important in my own region where opinion is divided on a proposed super council for Hawke’s Bay.

“John Key promised before he became Prime Minister he would not to force a super city on Auckland. He got into office and broke that promise.

“My Bill will give ratepayers a say in what happens in their districts and cities. I will work hard with other political parties to gain their support to restore democracy to local communities,” Stuart Nash says.