Local govt reform should include elected police chiefs – developer

Local government reform should include electing police and fire chiefs, says developer.

Local government reform should include voting in police chiefs and other civic leaders, Queenstown developer Alastair Porter says.

After a presentation to the local government conference in Queenstown this week, Mr Porter told NBR ONLINE that electing city officials was the best way to make them accountable. 

Earlier, at the opening of the Local Government NZ conference, Prime Minister John Key said local government members must tighten their belts and resist the temptation to think their council is an exception or face special circumstances.

Mr Porter supports reforms and says he would like to see the number of local authorities – now 73 – halved.

He also wants district plans nationwide to be standardised.

But he praised the Queenstown-Lakes District community feedback system where residents determined which civic facilities were built.

Mr Porter says a convention centre is sorely needed in Queenstown and his company wants to build one on land near the airport where he has developed the Remarkables Park shopping centre and Shotover Business Park.

He is hoping for financial support from central government and, possibly, the council.

Queenstown is hosting three major conferences this week, which are proving a great boon to local accommodation providers and caterers, he says.

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