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

 


Len Brown plan for rates reform looks like a road to nowhere

MEDIA RELEASE

17th March 2014

[Statement from David Thornton]

Auckland Mayor Len Brown’s plan for rates reform looks like a road to nowhere.

Auckland needs to find a solution to its own funding problems.

Interviewed on TVNZ’s Q& A on Sunday Mr Brown proposal consisted of asking Local Government New Zealand [LGNZ]to carry out a review of local authority funding throughout the country, together with his suggestion of a ‘city tax’ without any detail of what that meant.

I understand that Mr Brown has not discussed this proposal with his Council and that there has been no debate on Council’s attitude to his proposal.

While NoMoreRates has consistently called for reform of the rating system, and welcomed the Mayor’s initial announcement of a funding review, his proposal to ask LGNZ to carry out a review is a road to nowhere.

Local Government New Zealand has a non-existent record of achievement other than as a generator of talk-fests.

Mr Brown is correct when he highlights problems with the current rating system, but rather than launch yet another nationwide review he should concentrate on finding solutions to Auckland’s problems.

After more than three years of effort the Mayor and his budget office have failed to find a solution for funding his favourite project the City Rail Link.

In that time rates have climbed to almost 25 cents in every rates dollar on the back of huge increases in debt.

As the first SuperCity in the country the Auckland Council has vast borrowing powers compared to any other city, and the Council needs to sort out its own funding problems rather that getting involved in some nationwide talk-fest through Local Government New Zealand.

The Mayor should ask the Council to set up its own review panel including representation from the three rating sectors, residential, business and rural.

The panel should use Council’s research and communication facilities to prepare funding options and seek Aucklanders responses and ideas.

A purely local review is likely to complete a funding plan far more quickly than going through Local Government New Zealand with its mixture of councils each with their own special problems.

Auckland’s needs are urgent.

The Mayor needs to talk to his Council and get on with that job.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Populism And Labour 2017

For many people on the centre-left, populism is a dirty word, and a shorthand for the politics of bigotry. In this country, it has tended to be equated with the angry legions of New Zealand First. Who knew they were not just a reactionary spasm, but the wave of the future?

Certainly, at the end of this week, the next US President will have won office (at least in part) thanks to his proven ability at (a) scapegoating refugees and migrants (b) wooing neo-Nazis and racial supremacists (c) attacking journalists and judges (d) threatening to jail his opponents (e) urging nuclear proliferation and (e) by promising to restrict women’s rights to control their own fertility.

On the face of that campaign record, there wouldn’t seem to be much in common between Donald Trump and say, Spain’s centre-left populist party, Podemos. Yet arguably, the similarities could be instructive for the Labour/Green partnership here. More>>

 
 

Oxfam: 30% Of NZ Owns Less Wealth Than Our Two Richest Men

The research also reveals that the richest one per cent have 20 per cent of the wealth in New Zealand, while 90 per cent of the population owns less than half of the nation’s wealth. The research forms part of a global report released to coincide with this week’s annual meeting of political and business leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. More>>

ALSO:

Hospitals: Resident Doctors Set To Strike Again

Despite discussions between the DHBs and NZRDA over safer hours for resident doctors progressing during the last week, the strike planned for next week appears set to proceed. More>>

ALSO:

Not So Super Fund: More Burning Ethical Questions For Steven Joyce

Greens: Radio New Zealand reported this morning that the New Zealand Superfund has $77 million invested in 47 coal companies that the Norwegian Government’s Pension Fund – the largest sovereign fund in the world – has blacklisted. More>>

Activism: Greenpeace Intercepts World’s Biggest Seismic Oil Ship

Greenpeace crew have made contact with the world’s biggest seismic oil ship after travelling 50 nautical miles on two rigid-hulled inflatables off the coast of Wairarapa... Greenpeace radioed the master of the Amazon Warrior to deliver an open letter of protest signed by over 60,000 New Zealanders. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: Why Tax Cuts In 2017 Would Be A (Proven) Bad Idea

Ever since the world fell prey to the mullahs of the free market in the 1980s, no amount of real world evidence has managed dispel one key tenet of their economic faith. Namely, the idea that if you cut income taxes and taxes on small business, a wave of individual enterprise and entrepreneurial energy will thus be unleashed, profits will rise and – hey bingo! – the tax cuts will soon be paying for themselves ... More>>

Liquor Sponsorship: Researchers Call For Ban On Alcohol Sponsorship Of Sport

“Due to alcohol sponsorship of sport, New Zealanders, including children, were exposed to up to 200 ads per hour they watched televised sport, and people watching football and tennis saw alcohol ads for almost half of each game,” says Associate Professor Signal. More>>

ALSO:

Mt Albert: Ardern For Labour, Genter For Greens

At the close of nominations, Jacinda Ardern was the sole nomination received for the position of Labour’s candidate for the Mt Albert by-election, says Labour General Secretary, Andrew Kirton. More>>

ALSO:

Earlier:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news