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The Department of Internal Affairs

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Legislative Reviews › Local Government Act Review › Local Government Act Review


Background

The Local Government Act 1974 (LGA) is the main piece of legislation defining the power and responsibility of local authorities. The decision to review the Act, and other local government legislation, was made in March 2000. The review of the LGA and preparation of the consultation document saw unprecedented levels of cooperation between central and local government. The Local Government Bill was introduced to Parliament on 18 December 2001.

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Consultation Complete
The public consultation process for the review of the Local Government Act is now complete. A consultation document, Reviewing the Local Government Act 1974 was released on 14 June 2001. Submissions were sought by 30 August with 654 written submissions received by the Department.

The consultation process also included a series of 66 public meetings throughout New Zealand. These were conducted by a team from the Department’s Local Government Policy Group, and included meetings targeted at Maori, Pacific Island and other ethnic communities.

Submissions were received from a variety of individuals and organisations, and provide a picture of the range of public and community views of the proposals contained in the consultation document. Issues that drew the most comment included:
  • the proposed new purpose of local government – to promote the social, economic, environmental and cultural well-being of communities.
  • the proposal to give councils a “power of general competence", allowing them to choose the activities they undertake and how they should undertake them (subject to a public consultation process).
  • the relationship between Maori, the Treaty and local government.

Cabinet Papers for Local Government Bill
An analysis of submissions was used to assist in the development of the final set of Cabinet papers which provided the basis for legislative drafting of the new Local Government Bill. The Bill was introduced to Parliament on 19 December 2001 and will hopefully be enacted by the middle of 2002.


Related Legislation
The review of the Local Government Act takes place in the context of a review of local electoral and funding powers legislation. Follow these links to:

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