Never Mind the Rubbish, Feel the Well-being

In the good old days – before we were swamped with ‘well-being’ Local Authorities had some well defined and useful roles.

10 Purpose of local government
(1) The purpose of local government is—
(a) to enable democratic local decision-making and action by, and on behalf of, communities; and
(b) to meet the current and future needs of communities for good-quality local infrastructure, local public services, and performance of regulatory functions in a way that is most cost-effective for households and businesses.
(2) In this Act, good-quality, in relation to local infrastructure, local public services, and performance of regulatory functions, means infrastructure, services, and performance that are—
(a) efficient; and
(b) effective; and
(c) appropriate to present and anticipated future circumstances.

11 Role of local authority
The role of a local authority is to—
(a) give effect, in relation to its district or region, to the purpose of local government stated in section 10; and
(b) perform the duties, and exercise the rights, conferred on it by or under this Act and any other enactment.

11A Core services to be considered in performing role
In performing its role, a local authority must have particular regard to the contribution that the following core services make to its communities:
(a) network infrastructure:
(b) public transport services:
(c) solid waste collection and disposal:
(d) the avoidance or mitigation of natural hazards:
(e) libraries, museums, reserves, and other recreational facilities and community amenities.

Local Government Act 2002 (pre-well-being)


Obviously tasking the local council with such mundane things as public transport, rubbish collection and libraries etc was not advancing our collective well-being. Thus, the Local Government Act 2002 had to be amended.

10 Purpose of local government
(1) The purpose of local government is—
(a) to enable democratic local decision-making and action by, and on behalf of, communities; and
(b) to promote the social, economic, environmental, and cultural well-being of communities in the present and for the future.
(2)[Repealed]

11 Role of local authority
The role of a local authority is to—
(a) give effect, in relation to its district or region, to the purpose of local government stated in section 10; and
(b) perform the duties, and exercise the rights, conferred on it by or under this Act and any other enactment.

11A Core services to be considered in performing role
[Repealed]

Local Government Act 2002 (post-well-being)


Our enlightened politicians have decided that councils no longer need to meet the current and future needs of communities for good-quality local infrastructure, local public services, and performance of regulatory functions in a way that is most cost-effective for households and businesses. They now have to promote the social, economic, environmental, and cultural well-being of communities in the present and for the future.

Most of us would prefer good quality infrastructure and efficient public services. And no longer do those services need to be efficient, effective and appropriate to present and anticipated future circumstances. That requirement was repealed. Apparently, Council wastage of ratepayer money is now legal!

The whole section defining what a local council was really all about has been repealed. Don’t think that you can write to the paper complaining about the rubbish or public transport or such like. These core services for your community are no longer a yardstick or key performance indicator.
(a) network infrastructure:
(b) public transport services:
(c) solid waste collection and disposal:
(d) the avoidance or mitigation of natural hazards:
(e) libraries, museums, reserves, and other recreational facilities and community amenities.

All that matters is your well-being.

Section 5 of the Act has all the definitions arranged alphabetically and the definition of well-being slots in there between ‘waterworks’ and ‘working day’.

Given that definition in the Act, it is a simple matter to check whether or not your council is promoting your social, economic, environmental, and cultural well-being.

Never Mind the Rubbish, Feel the Well-being
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