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Give councils their power back, MPs say

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 22/11/2016

A call by public policy think tank The New Zealand Initiative for central government to stay out of local politics is being backed by two opposition parties.

NZ Initiative said on Monday councils need to be able to get on with the job without central government interference.

It said meddling by ministers meant they couldn't function well, and citizens didn't know who was accountable for decisions.

NZ First's local government spokesman Ron Mark, says National is running a nanny state.

"Councils are voted in to make decisions for their districts without the intervention of the heavy hand of government," said Mr Mark, a former mayor of Carterton.

"Dictating to ratepayers, communities and local elected politicians isn't working."

ACT leader David Seymour says central government has meddled in local affairs for far too long.

"It has resulted in central and local authorities blaming each other for every second problem - this buck-passing has left voters unable to effectively hold either authority to account," he said.

Local Government New Zealand also agrees with NZ Initiative.

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