The defeat of Labour’s Local Government (Council-Controlled Organisations) Amendment Bill is a win for Auckland ratepayers, ACT Leader John Banks said today.
The bill would have defined port companies, such as the Ports of Auckland, as council controlled organisations under the Local Government Act, forcing them to pursue the vague notions of social and environmental responsibility, and to comply with the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act.
"Labour’s bill would have turned the Ports of Auckland into a bureaucratic nightmare, bogged down by the pettiness of politics," Mr Banks said.
"Creating new environmental requirements specifically for council owned companies is unnecessary when all companies are required to comply with environmental regulations.
"And the real social responsibility of any business is to maximise profits by managing costs and serving its customers well, in this case the customers are the ratepayers of Auckland.
"ACT believes that private enterprise runs businesses far better than government can, but where government does own a business, it should be run as one - this means keeping it as far removed from politics as possible in order to maximise returns. The more profitable these businesses, the more money they generate for the community.
"That’s why it was so crucial to defeat this bill - so that the Ports of Auckland remain an effective, profit-driven organisation.
"At a time of significant rate rises, the last thing the people of Auckland need is a Labour Party bill to make one of their key strategic assets, which employs over 2000 people, less profitable.
"ACT is proud to have contributed to the defeat of this bill," Mr Banks said.
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