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Local Government New Zealand’s member councils pass seven remits to direct LGNZ’s policy advocacy

Local Government New Zealand’s (LGNZ) member councils have today passed seven remits to direct LGNZ’s policy advocacy. 

Local Government New Zealand’s (LGNZ) member councils have today passed seven remits to direct LGNZ’s policy advocacy. 

LGNZ is the peak body representing New Zealand’s 78 local councils, providing a unified voice for the sector and a pathway for continuous improvement through CouncilMARK™.  

All 78 member councils were able to debate and vote on proposed remits at the LGNZ Annual General meeting. 

A brief summary of each remit, and the voting results, can be found below: 

 

1.  Tree Protection

Proposed by Auckland Council and supported by Auckland Zone. This remit calls for the urgent repeal of current provisions in the Resource Management Act (RMA) that restrict tree protection, restoring councils’ rights to adopt and enforce locally appropriate policies to protect trees in their district 

The remit was passed with 79 per cent support of the sector. 

 

2.  Rating Value of Forestry Land

Proposed by Gisborne City Council and supported by: Hauraki District Council; Western Bay of Plenty District Council; New Plymouth District Council; Hastings District Council; Manawatū District Council; Ruapehu District Council; Whakatāne District Council; Central Hawkes Bay District Council; Wairoa District Council; and Waikato District Council. This remit calls for LGNZ to request the Valuer General to amend legislation to allow local government to address growing disparities between the rating valuation of forestry land and other land uses. 

The remit was passed with 81 per cent support of the sector. 

 

3.  Funding of Civics Education Remit

Proposed by: Hamilton City Council and supported by: Horizons Regional Council; Christchurch City Council; Tauranga City Council; Nelson City Council; New Plymouth District Council; Hastings District Council; Waikato District Council; Whakatāne District Council; and Ōpōtiki District Council. This remit calls for LGNZ to advocate for central government to provide funding to enable councils to offer civics education in high schools. 

The remit was passed with 93 per cent support of the sector. 

 

4.  Promoting local government electoral participation

Proposed by Palmerston North City Council and supported by Zone Three. This remit advocates for the Electoral Commission play a greater role, in addition to council chief executives, in facilitating and fostering representative and substantial elector participation in elections and polls held under the Local Electoral Act. 

The remit was passed with 91 per cent support of the sector. 

 

5.  Carbon emission inventory standards and reduction targets

Proposed by Palmerston North City Council and supported by Zone Three. This remit calls for LGNZ to work with central government to develop consistent emission inventory standards for use by local and regional authorities; to set science-based emissions reduction targets to support delivery on New Zealand’s National Determined Contribution (NDC) under the Paris Agreement, and on the nationwide emissions budgets being established by government via advice from the Climate Change Commission.  

The remit was passed with 96 per cent support of the sector. 

 

6.  WINZ Accommodation Supplement review

Proposed by: Queenstown Lakes District Council and supported by: Hamilton City Council; Nelson City Council; Porirua City Council; Southland District Council; Clutha District Council; and Central Otago District Council. This remit calls for LGNZ to work with the government to conduct an urgent review of the WINZ Accommodation Supplement (AS) system zones in partnership with territorial authorities. 

Furthermore, this remit calls for LGNZ to advocate for an ongoing two-yearly review of the AS system in partnership with territorial authorities.  

The remit was respectively passed with 72 per cent and 69 per cent support of the sector. 

 

7.  Liability – building consent functions

Proposed by: Waikato District Council and supported by: Upper Hutt City Council; Hauraki District Council; Waipā District Council, Ōtōrohanga District Council; Thames-Coromandel District Council; and Hamilton City Council. This remit calls for LGNZ to work with government to obtain legal protection/indemnity from the Crown in favour of all councils, and/or to implement a warranty scheme for any civil liability brought against a council with regards to building consent functions carried out by Consentium (a division of Kāinga Ora), as such costs should not be borne by ratepayers.  

The remit was passed with 93 per cent support of the sector.