The recent decision of the High Court in Meridian Energy Company v Wellington City Council  NZHC 48 has reaffirmed the broad discretion and wide-ranging powers of local bodies to set rates under the Local Government (Rating) Act 2002 (Rating Act). The Court has also confirmed that both general and target rates can be set differentially, within the one rating unit, depending on the use to which the land is put.
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) is calling for submissions on the recently released Draft New Zealand Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy 2017-2022.
Local Government Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has recently announced further reforms to the local government sector to improve the service delivery and infrastructure provision arrangements at the local government level.
Christchurch has a new legal framework to support regeneration over the next five years. The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Act 2011 ("CER Act") expired on 19 April 2016 and the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority is no more. The CER Act has been replaced by the Greater Christchurch Regeneration Act 2016 (the "Act").
The Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Act 2014 (the "Act"), which came into force on 7 August 2014, implements the Government's second phase of legislative reform of the operation of local government. The Act contains some significant changes for local authorities in relation to development contributions, local boards, delivery and governance of services, consultation in decision making, and infrastructure strategies. We outline some of these changes below.
On 4 November 2013, the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 3) (the "Bill") was introduced into Parliament. The Bill details the Government's second phase of the "Better Local Government" reform programme, which aims to encourage and enable local authorities to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their operations and processes.
The Housing Accords and Special Housing Areas Bill was introduced in Parliament on 16 May 2013. A very short period of consultation was allowed, with submissions to the Select Committee due on 30 May 2013.
Section 181(2) of the Local Government Act 2002 empowers territorial authorities to construct sewage and stormwater drainage works "on or under private land". This case was the first occasion the High Court has been required to interpret section 181(2) of the Act.
The Courts have recently looked at the issue of whether a Council owes a duty to take reasonable care in issuing a section 224 certificate and ensuring registration of a consent notice under the Resource Management Act 1991. The outcome of these proceedings may have important consequences for local authorities.
Many local authorities around the country are in the process of reviewing regional and district plans, prior to notifying proposed new versions of those documents. Interested persons will be able to lodge submissions and further submissions on the proposed plans.
This Bill aims to improve the operation of local government and the delivery of public services by focusing councils on operating more efficiently and within a more confined sphere than currently.
In this article, Andrew Young discusses recent events in the Auckland region that have highlighted local
body rates and raised the question what can be done by a ratepayer to object to the rates levied. The
discussion and publicity around the issue has singularly lacked in any consideration of the rating process or
any constructive suggestions as to how the public can have a say.