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


Councils must now take up the challenges

19 November 2007

Statement from David Thornton

“Local councils must now take up the challenges from the recent Rates Inquiry report”.

This was the message NoMoreRates founder/organiser David Thornton gave to the Annual Local Government Finance Forum in Wellington last week.

Addressing this meeting of senior council finance officials, Mr Thornton told them that the recent Rates Inquiry report was a valuable documment as it focused attention on many of the issues and problems surrounding the whole rates issue.

Mr Thornton told the Forum that experienced council officials need to be well aware of the growing anger among ratepayers – an anger reflected in the results of elections to many local councils where rates protesters made significant gains.

Those gains produced major losses – especially those two Auckland Mayors who were held responsible for huge rate increases, and consequently no longer wear the chains of office.

“But the Independent Rates Inquiry did not deal with the real issue – that is the question of what local councils should and should not be doing. Although it pointed out that expenditure by local councils was becoming excessive.

“However the recently announced Royal Commission on Auckland Governance will provide a realistic opportunity to look at the role of councils within the varied communities which together comprise the Auckland Region”

David Thornton urged councils senior finance managers to analyse all the options put foreward in the Rates Inquiry report and put the results before their councils as soon as possible so that the the long-running annual battle between councils and ratepayers can move on to a conculsion which is fair to all residents and brings prudence to council expenditure.

He also urged council finance staff to look at a form of ‘poll tax’ or a per capita tax – even though the Rates Inquiry did not support such a tax.

David Thornton told the Forum “People tend to dismiss a poll tax because of the outcry in England when Margaret Thatcher introduced it. But the problem then was the way it was introduced – and the lack of care in providing support for those who could not afford to pay.

“But at least poll tax has the ability to spread the cost of local government more fairly across the whole community – rather than a tax solely on property owners under the present system”


© 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


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>>


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>>


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>>


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>>


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>>


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>>


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>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election