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Grey Power joins bid to defeat bill

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 5/09/2016

Grey Power is the latest organisation to add its voice to the chorus of complaint about the government's proposed changes to local government laws.

The Local Government Act Amendment Bill (No 2) is being fiercely opposed by councils which say it gives dangerous new powers to the government-appointed Local Government Commission.

It allows the commission to create Council Controlled Organisations (CCOs) to handle utilities like water and transport, potentially across boundaries.

Grey Power says that means the amalgamation of some services, without ratepayers having a say or any control over how much it costs.

"We have about 70,000 members nationwide to mobilise to protect that democratic right if we need to," Grey Power president Tom O'Connor said on Monday.

The Greens say the bill gives the commission control of key functions to unelected CCOs.

When the government announced the bill, it said the changes were designed to allow flexibility and better service for ratepayers.

It has passed its first reading and is in front of a select committee which is considering submissions.

Grey Power says it has put in a submission.

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