Quake an issue for councils

Posted 17 Jul 2012 by MediaStuff Popular
This item was posted on the Stuff.co.nz website - click here to view the original

 

Bob Parker, John Key
BROOKE GARDINER/Fairfax NZ

EXCHANGING VIEWS: Prime Minister John Key and Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker at the Local Government New Zealand conference in Queenstown.

 

Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker said the city provided a ''strong subtext'' during the first main day of the Queenstown event yesterday.Christchurch's earthquake recovery and its rebuilding challenges were among themes at this week's Local Government New Zealand conference.

Parker and deputy mayor Ngaire Button are at the conference, as are city councillors Peter Beck, Barry Corbett, Jamie Gough, Yani Johanson and Claudia Reid.

Parker said last night some clear themes were already coming through.

''It was interesting listening to messages of the need for fiscal responsibility in a time when the nation and world are facing some pretty strong external influences, really a great big global recession, and when we are relatively lucky to be in the space we're in.''

Queenstown Lakes District Mayor Vanessa van Uden had said local government needed to exercise its collective power more frequently.

There were also concerns about the Government's local government reforms and proposal to scrap the ''four wellbeings'' - cultural, economic, environmental and social - that currently guide councils in their work.

''The conference . . . unanimously voted to reject the loss of the four wellbeings.

''Christchurch was a strong subtext . . . in that earthquakes could strike any town, any time.

''The impact of the earthquakes have really reminded a lot of other places of the risks we face. It's a major economic issue for New Zealand. There are huge expectations of what will come out of Christchurch, '' Parker said.

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