Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 

Dubious ARC decisions challenged

Wednesday, May 24th, 2005

Dubious ARC decisions challenged

Two major decisions by the Auckland Regional Council were challenged by the Employers & Manufacturers Association (Northern) when presenting its submission to the ARC today.

The ARC was asked to explain how it can:
* disregard one of its own formal resolutions of a year ago and proceed to plan for an increase in business rates, and
* spend $170 million of ratepayers' funds earmarked for transport and other infrastructure on purchasing the Ports of Auckland shares without consulting the public.

On June 28th 2004 the ARC resolved:

"That the ARC commission a report assessing whether there are additional benefits received by business which justify a differential over and above (that created) by the CV (Capital Value) system."

Subsequently the ARC commissioned the report from Associate Professor of Economics at Auckland University, Basil Sharp.

"The ARC's rates proposals this year in relation to this report are reprehensible," said Alasdair Thompson, EMA's chief executive.

"For the ARC to charge business a higher level of rates than other categories of ratepayer the council was first legally obliged to determine whether the higher rate met the requirements of the Local Government Act 2002.

"The Sharp report was originally intended to assist with that.

"It was supposed to be ready before the Council proposed its rates regime for this year, but it's still not available.

"But the ARC has gone ahead anyway to increase the business rates differential, in flagrant disregard of its own resolution and the need to observe Section 101 (a) and (b) of the Local Government Act.

"Why did it commission the report in the first place if it had no intention of taking it into account for the setting of rates?

"It was plain at today's hearings some councillors did not know the Sharp report had been commissioned or what it was for.

"If the ARC decided that, in terms of the law, business should pay higher rates than other categories of ratepayer, the council is required to explain how the present figure of charging business 60 per cent more in rates than other ratepayers was arrived at.

"On the ARC's purchase of Ports of Auckland shares, the ARC had an obligation to consult before spending $170 million of ratepayers' money because it was never intended for this purpose.

"The Infrastructure Auckland funds were intended for investing in public infrastructure such as urgently needed passenger transport, rail, and storm water systems.

"Financial analysts and economic commentators have also said the estimated return of 4.25% does not stack up as an investment.

"ARC could achieve a far higher rate of return from just about any infrastructure project you care to name.

"The ARH had to get ARC approval before undertaking a 'Material Transaction' of this scale, and to give its approval the ARC must comply with the requirements of the Local Government Act 2002 (sections 76 to 82), which specify that if the community's views are not known they must be consulted before a decision is made."

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Reaction

Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome | Greens on their joining Govt | EDS welcomes new govt | Immigrant groups worry | Feds ready to engage new coalition government | Labour Ministers of the Crown announced

 

Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>

ALSO:


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>

ALSO:

Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>

ALSO:

Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>

ALSO:

Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election