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Claims that the Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta has not met with any ratepayer groups around the country are astounding, and National's Local Government spokesperson Jacqui Dean says she needs to get on and do her job.

“I find the Minister‘s lack of engagement with ratepayers quite concerning - without this community interaction the Minister is forfeiting the opportunity to access a wealth of information and knowledge that local ratepayers have.

"The Taxpayers' Union claims its analysis of Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta’s diary entries reveals that she hasn’t met with a single ratepayer group or residents’ association since she was appointed.

“I think that at a time when the Minister is asking councils and their communities to grapple with complex issues like the new Three Waters plans, wellbeing targets and Freshwater proposals, informally consulting and gathering local feedback would be hugely beneficial.

“Sadly this only continues to reaffirm the image of this Government as one that is not interested in what happens in the regions, preferring instead to make policy within the confines of the Beehive.

“The Minister should understand that some of the best information about councils and their communities comes from talking to ratepayers, rather than setting up another working group to come up with ideas.

“As National’s Local Government spokesperson I make it my business to meet with councils and ratepayer representatives on a regular basis, because the consultation is so valuable. My most recent meetings were in Fairlie during the last recess.

“How can the Minister expect ratepayers to have any faith in her ability to make authoritative decisions when she’s not ready to take the time to sit down and hear their views."  

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