The New Zealand Society of Authors (PEN NZ Inc.) is pleased to see the issue of core council spending has been broadened in the proposed local government shake-up, but warns that libraries are not out of danger yet.
“Mr Hide’s backtrack on the issue of ‘core services’ is a welcome step” says President, Tony Simpson “but there is nothing as yet to indicate that the libraries and other such facilities will be safe in the long term. We intend to keep the pressure on until we are confident of the outcome. Nevertheless we are pleased to see that the Government is taking notice of what the people want, and we congratulate them on taking this stand.”
“The development of the Auckland Super City structure, together with the proposed changes to the Local Government Act will see changes to our towns and cities that will affect everyone. This is not just an Auckland issue” Mr Simpson added. “In particular we are keen to see changes to the proposed compulsory local referendums on large project expenditure and the retention of the definition of the purpose of local government as in The Local Government Act 2002 (as at 1 July 2009) : to promote the social, economic, environmental, and cultural well-being of communities, in the present and for the future.
“Libraries are an important part of our culture, and we will fight to the end to keep them”.