National rejects anti-democratic council proposals

The Government’s Future for Local Government report released today is yet another attack on local democracy from Labour, say National’s Paul Goldsmith and Simon Watts.

“This is just more of the same from Labour – a whole lot of ideological waffle that does nothing to deliver on the core issues facing communities around the country,” Local Government spokesperson Simon Watts says.

“In almost 300 pages there is nothing that will help deliver better infrastructure, housing and transport systems for our cities, regions and communities – which is what Kiwis need from local councils, not more navel gazing from Labour.”

Justice Spokesperson Paul Goldsmith says National rejects the co-government proposals in the report, just as National rejects co-governance of public services.

“The report’s authors are proposing mana whenua appointments to councils and a shift away from one person, one vote. National disagrees – equal voting rights are a fundamental tenet of our democracy.

“The working group also wants to lower the voting age to 16 and extend the term between elections. These are not the issues we should be focusing on when local infrastructure and services are at breaking point.

“Voters will have a clear choice at the next election, between Labour which is determined to pursue its co-governance agenda and National which will govern for all New Zealanders and most importantly get things done.”