You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Councils mull major issues at conference

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 23/07/2016

Calls for law changes to allow local government to more effectively control the negative issues associated with freedom camping. © Getty Images Calls for law changes to allow local government to more effectively control the negative issues associated with freedom camping. Freedom camping and minimum standards for rental homes are among the issues being discussed at a gathering of local government officials.

The Local Government New Zealand 2016 Conference starts in Dunedin on Sunday and runs until Tuesday.

The conference comes at a time when many issues overseen by local councils are controversial, including the availability of land for new housing, public transport and the standard of rental accommodation.

Also, local body elections are looming.

There is a strong focus on community and health issues in this year's remits, including police resourcing, housing standards and the possible adverse health impacts of dust from unsealed roads, organisers say.

"Local government has a critical role to play in planning for the long-term prosperity of our communities, so it is right that local government lead these discussions," LGNZ president Lawrence Yule says.

LGNZ represents New Zealand's 78 local, regional and unitary authorities.

KEY ISSUES

* A remit asks that LGNZ advocates for increased resourcing for community policing.

* Calls for law changes to allow local government to more effectively control the negative issues associated with freedom camping.

* A remit asks that LGNZ works with the government on ways to strengthen the minimum standards for rental housing.

* Gaining a better understanding of the impacts on human health from dust on unsealed roads is sought by a remit.

* Preservation of earthquake-prone public heritage buildings.

* Relocation of government services to regional centres.

* Call for a national-mandated beverage container deposit system.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon