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Problem-plagued bill delayed

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 23/09/2016

Local government reforms fiercely opposed by councils have been effectively put on hold until next year.

Local Government Minister Sam Lotu-Iiga on Friday announced the bill's select committee report back date had been extended to March 2017.

The committee had been due to report the bill back to parliament by October 28.

And the minister has indicated contentious provisions could be changed.

"I acknowledge some of the concerns raised by local government," he said.

"Solutions need to be found for the issues that have been raised ... I look forward to further discussions with the local government sector to explore options and solutions."

Mayors from around the country came to parliament earlier this month to voice their opposition to measures in the bill which would have allowed the creation of organisations to handle services such as water and sewerage.

They would operate across council boundaries, and the mayors said local government democracy was under threat.

Mr Lotu-Iiga says he's still committed to reforms which enable councils to "more easily share resources".

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