The proliferic Taxpayers' Union has released a report called
The lobby group calls it "an innovative guide for local authorities, showing them how they can cut waste, save money, reduce bureaucracy and ultimately lower rates. Rate Saver Report: 101 Ways to Save Money in Local Government adopts many suggestions made by the country’s mayors, and is based on similar reports published in the United Kingdom."
Perhaps surprisingly, the guide has received an endorsement from Invercargill mayor and one-time radical leftie Tim Shadblot.
Mr Shadbolt says in a foreword:
Having been a mayor for 28 years and finally achieving a rate increase of less than 1%, I’ve learnt to face many challenges and this publication is certainly challenging.
Some of the ideas are obviously worthy of discussion and others are clearly designed to provoke discussion. Local government representatives can often hide under the cloak of “public service” which generates barricades of knighthoods, QSMs and QSOs.
Occasionally a rogue mayor such as Michael Laws or Wayne Brown would poke their heads above the parapet and lob a grenade or two about the hopelessness of local government but both were eventually destroyed by self-inflicted wounds.
In my view we should never flinch from criticism. At least our critics are interested enough to wrestle with local bodies. Our real opponents are those who don’t give a damn, don’t vote, don’t connect, don’t criticise, don’t communicate and don’t under any circumstances get involved.
Hopefully this publication will anger, inspire or depress but it won’t make us feel apathetic.