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


Rating differentials must be abolished

Today’s release of the Productivity Commission’s report into local government funding and financing reinforces many of the points the Wellington Chamber of Commerce has been making, most importantly the Commission’s recommendation to abolish rating differentials.

"We strongly oppose the Wellington City Council’s recent decision to increase their rating differential for businesses from 2.8 to 3.25, so we’re very pleased to see the Productivity Commission recommend today that differentials be abolished within five years," says Chief Executive John Milford.

"It also calls into question the Greater Wellington Regional Council’s decision to introduce a business differential for the first time this year.

"Multiplying by an arbitrary number the rates bill that businesses must pay has never made sense.

"Councils often conflate and confuse the benefit and ability-to-pay principles.

"Instead, the Commission recommends abolishing both differentials and uniform annual general charges and replacing them with more transparent targeted rates. This allows councils to set rates primarily based on who benefits from them.

"The Commission examines councils’ ability to fund the infrastructure they need to support a growing population. They find that new infrastructure is affordable as long as councils act soundly and fund infrastructure in the right way.

"We support councils re-examining their current assets and asking whether funding construction of new assets is more important than maintaining ownership of their current assets - particularly commercial enterprises.

"The Commission found that the cumulative burden of ‘unfunded mandates’ - central government shifting responsibilities without funding onto local government - is becoming increasingly severe for some councils.

"It is surprising, then, the lack of questioning by Wellington’s councils of the substantial funding burden placed on ratepayers to fund the Let’s Get Wellington Moving transport package.

"Wellingtonians already pay their fair share of fuel excise tax every time they fill up their car. Yet councils will be significantly increasing rates in coming years to pay for state highway projects that are normally the responsibility of central government.

"Today’s Productivity Commission report is a significant piece of work looking to enhance the way local government is managed and funded. We will be making a further submission to support their work."


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Mediaworks: Three to be sold or closed

MediaWorks has today announced that it intends to sell MediaWorks TV as well as its Flower Street property which includes its television head office and studios.

The intention is for MediaWorks to sell the television side of the business while retaining ownership of radio and QMS. The Flower Street property will also be put up for sale with a lease back option for a buyer to continue to operate television from that location.

MediaWorks Chairman Jack Matthews said that MediaWorks is committed to continuing to grow its business in New Zealand while recognising that free-to-air television operates in a challenging environment. More>>


Could Do Better: Post-Sroubek Review Of Deportation Info

Ms Tremain acknowledges that the review highlighted some aspects of the process that can be improved and makes five main recommendations to strengthen the existing processes for preparing files for decision-makers. Those recommendations are: More>>


Gordon Campbell: On A New Book On The Leaky Homes Scandal

We all know that journalism is short of cash and under pressure from the speed, brevity and clickbait pressures of the 24/7 news cycle… but hey, given the right subject and a sufficiently stubborn journalist, it can still surpass most of the works of the academic historians... More>>

Regulation: Review Finds NZTA Road Safety Failings

The independent review, carried out by consultant agency MartinJenkins, lists at least 10 reasons for the failures including the agency being focused on customer service at the expense of its policing functions. More>>


Rod Carr: Climate Change Commission Chair-Designate Announced

Climate Change Minister James Shaw has today announced the appointment of Dr Rod Carr as Chair-designate for the Climate Change Commission. More>>


Compliance Complaints: 'Putting Right' Holidays Act Underpayment In Health

The Government is putting right a decade’s worth of underpayment to nurses, doctors and other health workers, says Health Minister Dr David Clark. More>>


IPCA: Disasterous Police Pursuit, Excessive Use Of Dogs

At no stage did Police follow the correct procedure for the commencement of a pursuit... A Police dog handler used his dog to help with the arrest of two of the young people. One suffered injuries resulting in his hospitalisation, and the Authority found that the use of the dog was an excessive use of force. More>>


‘Hard Place To Be Happy’: Report On Youth Residential Care

Children’s Commissioner Andrew Becroft says the report, A Hard Place to be Happy, contains important challenges from children and young people, aged 9 to 17, about their experiences in care and protection residences. “I found this report extremely difficult to read, and I think most New Zealanders would too.” More>>

Africa And Middle East Refugees: 'Family Link' Restriction Removed

The founder of the Double the Quota campaign has applauded the coalition government for Friday’s announcement that a discriminatory policy would be removed. More>>





InfoPages News Channels