Ratepayers will be disappointed to know that the Government is telling new councils to spend their rates on implementing ill-defined wellbeing targets instead of providing vital infrastructure, National’s Local Government spokesperson Jacqui Dean says.

“The Government is implementing legislation that would require councils to include poorly defined ‘wellbeing’ initiatives throughout their planning process.

“At a time when combined council debt sits at around $16 billion and rates are going up disproportionally to income and inflation, the last thing ratepayers and councils need is more red tape and costs from Central Government.

“The Minister admitted she has no idea of the costs this will force on to ratepayers, but she is pushing on regardless.

“National believes that local councils already work hard for their ratepayers, and adding more bureaucracy for them to wade through will only have adverse effects on their operations, and take their attention away from their communities and onto report writing.

“If the Government really cared about ratepayers’ wellbeing it would be working with local councils to implement good quality local infrastructure, public services and a rates bill that wasn’t skyrocketing year on year.”

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