The Green Party is citing Queenstown Lakes District Council’s experience with contracting-out as a reason why councils shouldn’t contract out regulatory functions.
Environment Minister Nick Smith told last weekend’s National Party conference that this was under consideration by the government.
Green Party environment spokesperson Eugenie Sage says Smith seems to have forgotten that past experiences doing this very thing had been a disaster.
“In 2007, QLDC had to pay more than $3 million to buy private company CivicCorp to bring its Resource Management Act consent processing and other regulatory functions back inhouse.
“There had been long-running disputes between QLDC and CivicCorp about the company’s poor performance and unacceptably high level of profit.
“Council had to bring its regulatory functions back inhouse to improve the services and so the council was able to carry out its statutory functions under RMS and other legislation.”
Sage adds: “Forcing councils to privatise their regulatory roles is another attack on local democracy by having Ministers direct how councils should operate.”