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Poll Ranks Business Concerns

24 May 2004

In a snap poll at a Chamber of Commerce breakfast with Don Brash last Friday morning, the Auckland business community overwhelmingly ranks the completion of Auckland’s core roading network as its number one issue of concern.

Fifty per cent (50%) of a respondent base of 311 business leaders ranked transport as the major issue of concern ahead of everything else, including lowering tax rates, review of the Resource Management Act and “canning” the Employment Relations Law Reform Bill.

Respondents were asked to rank the top five issues from the following list: “CAN” the Employment Relations Law Reform Bill; Complete Auckland’s core roading network; Create one Auckland Super city; Lower tax rates to compete with Australia; Provide incentives to get more New Zealand businesses exporting; Review the Resource Management Act; and Review electricity supply and pricing;

The top five issues were: Completing the roading network – 50% Tax rates that compete with Australia – 33% Review the RMA – 20% “CAN” the ERLRB – 18% Provide export incentives – 11%

When the 311 responses are analysed in terms of what the top three issues were, transport continues to dominate, but with clear majorities also for lowering tax rates and reviewing the RMA: 86% of respondents ranked completing the transport network either first, second or third highest issues of concern; 69% ranked lower tax rates to compete with Australia either first, second or third; and, 68% ranked review of the RMA either first, second or third. “Canning” the ERLRB came in 4th highest at 49%, in terms of respondents’ top-three ranking.

2.Commenting, Chamber CEO Michael Barnett said:

“Given that the key projects needed to complete the core network have been awaiting construction for the five years that the Government has been in office, it was therefore no surprise to see transport still ahead of everything else as the major concern of Auckland business.”

Clearly there is an impatience for action to complete the construction of the roading network that the region signed off on many years ago, he said.

However, the emergence into second place of a concern for tax rates to be lowered closer to those in Australia probably reflects businesses’ growing concern here at the different attitude towards business by respective governments, suggested Mr Barnett.

ENDS


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