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Local Government Law

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Local Government Issues

Caudwells has a significant level of experience in local government issues. Caudwells has been the principal adviser to the Dunedin City Council for a number of years, and has also been actively involved in local government issues in the territories administered by the Waitaki and Timaru District Councils, and the Queenstown-Lakes and Central Otago District Councils.

The local government area encompasses a wide range of topics. Some of the major areas include:

  • Rates
  • Elections
  • Bylaws
  • Meetings
  • Public Works
  • Roading
  • Water
  • Waste
  • Recreational Areas
  • Property Management

The local government area is a vast and changing arena, both in terms of the law and as a result of the political pressures of local body elections.

The Local Government Act 1974 is the legislation which addresses many of the issues arising from many of the areas identified above. The local government area interacts and overlaps with a large number of other areas of the law, which Caudwells in involved in, including resource management, commercial, property, criminal and civil work. For this reason Caudwells maintains a direct focus on the local government area and issues arising from it.

For more information contact:

Joe Butler Frazer Barton

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Rating

The law of rating is an area that requires specialist legal advice. The law is complex and subject to numerous changes as recent case law has highlighted. It is imperative that all local authorities and commercial and residential ratepayers are fully advised of the law before undertaking a course of action. The consequences of not obtaining professional advice could have serious financial repercussions.

Rating is statutory based. However, the Courts have been involved in interpreting a number of provisions of the Rating Powers Act 1998 and other Acts such as the Rates Rebate Act 1973 and the Rating Valuation Act 1998 (which replaces the Valuation of Land Act 1951) all of which govern rating law in New Zealand. The Rating Powers Act controls the making, levying and collection of rates and also imposes liability for rates.

Rating law allows for certain charges to be deemed rates. It must be remembered that rates are levied on properties and not the ratepayers. A point which is often forgotten in the New Zealand context.

In addition to providing expert advice on the law of rating, Caudwells also produces a regular series of Rating newsletters which discuss recent developments in the law of rating and offer practical advice for all local authorities and commercial ratepayers.

Please feel free to contact us to discuss any queries you may have on the law of Rating. Please contact:

Frazer Barton

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