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Thursday, 28 February 2008


When Steve Ruru, the CEO at Thames-Coromandel District Council, did his masterly summing up (referred to in an earlier post) of all the issues in the subject the council was about to consider, it was most noticeable that he grounded it solidly in law, especially of course the Local Government Act 2002, and other law that was pertinent, and that he focused on section 14 of the LGA, which sets out the principles by which local authorities are meant to operate.

He also made clear, by referring back to it, that the elected had been grounded in s14 etc., at their induction.

Contrast that with Auckland's induction. It was not mentioned. Why let principles get in the way of policy?

The subsequent debate in the TCDC referred again and again to s14. They tried to make sure that they stuck to the principles laid down in law, in particular 'well-being.' The same word features on their website.

Section 14: Principles relating to local authorities
(1) In performing its role, a local authority must act in accordance with the following principles:
(a) a local authority should—
(i) conduct its business in an open, transparent, and democratically accountable manner; and
(ii) give effect to its identified priorities and desired outcomes in an efficient and effective manner:
(b) a local authority should make itself aware of, and should have regard to, the views of all of its communities; and
(c) when making a decision, a local authority should take account of—
(i) the diversity of the community, and the community's interests, within its district or region; and
(ii) the interests of future as well as current communities; and
(iii) the likely impact of any decision on each aspect of well-being referred to in section 10:
(d) a local authority should provide opportunities for Maori to contribute to its decision-making processes:
(e) a local authority should collaborate and co-operate with other local authorities and bodies as it considers appropriate to promote or achieve its priorities and desired outcomes, and make efficient use of resources; and
(f) a local authority should undertake any commercial transactions in accordance with sound business practices; and
(g) a local authority should ensure prudent stewardship and the efficient and effective use of its resources in the interests of its district or region; and
(h) in taking a sustainable development approach, a local authority should take into account—
(i) the social, economic, and cultural well-being of people and communities; and
(ii) the need to maintain and enhance the quality of the environment; and
(iii) the reasonably foreseeable needs of future generations.
(2) If any of these principles, or any aspects of well-being referred to in section 10, are in conflict in any particular case, the local authority should resolve the conflict in accordance with the principle in subsection (1)(a)(i).