Bet­ter ser­vice de­liv­ery for all

South Waikato News - - OPINION - By LOUISE UP­STON

MP for Taupo

Last week­end here in South Waikato I at­tended the Raukawa 25-year an­niver­sary, a fan­tas­tic cel­e­bra­tion, and a great day for our com­mu­nity.

We were also for­tu­nate to have Min­is­ter Chris Fin­layson in South Waikato the same week­end which was great.

The past fort­night has been part of a three-week par­lia­men­tary sit­ting pe­riod, which ends at Easter.

A big is­sue and talk­ing point across the elec­torate has been the Bet­ter Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment re­forms an­nounce­ment.

Lo­cal gov­ern­ment, like cen­tral gov­ern­ment, needs to de­liver bet­ter ser­vices within tight fi­nan­cial con­straints; we all need to know that our coun­cils are spend­ing money wisely, on ser­vices that com­mu­ni­ties need.

The re­forms will give coun­cils more tools to help keep debt down and rates af­ford­able.

They will make coun­cils more fis­cally re­spon­si­ble, strengthen coun­cil gov­er­nance pro­vi­sions and stream­line coun­cil re-or­gan­i­sa­tion pro­cesses. Coun­cils will need to limit spend­ing growth to no faster than in­fla­tion and pop­u­la­tion growth.

These are sim­i­lar to the re­stric­tions that the cen­tral gov­ern­ment will be plac­ing on its own spend­ing.

Our coun­cils must be able to play their part in eco­nomic growth. That means cut­ting red tape, min­imis­ing the rates bur­den on house­holds and busi­nesses, lim­it­ing debt, and pro­vid­ing high­qual­ity in­fra­struc­ture.

Our lo­cal gov­ern­ment re­forms are an im­por­tant part of our pro­gramme to build a more pro­duc­tive, com­pet­i­tive econ­omy and to de­liver bet­ter public ser­vices for our com­mu­ni­ties.

We want to work with lo­cal gov­ern­ment in these chal­leng­ing fi­nan­cial times to de­liver ef­fi­cient and af­ford­able lo­cal gov­ern­ment ser­vices for Kiwi fam­i­lies.

On an­other note, this week I will be judg­ing the Pu­taruru Col­lege Maibiz Busi­ness com­pe­ti­tion, which I am re­ally look­ing for­ward to. Last time I at­tended this I was hugely im­pressed by the work ethic and ideas our stu­dents showed.

If you would like more in­for­ma­tion, or need as­sis­tance with an is­sue, please phone the elec­torate of­fice on 07 886 5554 or email Up­ston.sth­waikato@par­lia­ment. govt.nz.

Louise Up­ston

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