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Fees To Visit Stewart Island Supported

A bill allowing visitors to be charged a levy for visiting Stewart Island has resumed progress through Parliament after a 20 month delay.

The Southland District Council (Stewart Island/Rakiura Visitor Levy) Empowering Bill completed its second reading on a voice vote.

The bill’s promoter Eric Roy said the island hosts many short-term visitors but has a small permanent population.

The small rating base of the island with around 400 permanent residents meant it was difficult to fund infrastructure needed for the rapidly increasing number of visitors.

Roy said more and more cruise ships were visiting the pristine port of Oban and the bill would give the Southland District Council the legal power to collect and spend levies on visitors.

The Hutt City Council (Graffiti Removal) Bill - first reading was completed on voice vote.

It was sent to the Local Government Committee for consideration with the bill’s sponsor Trevor Mallard saying it would give the Hutt City Council power to remove graffiti that is on private property and that is visible from a public place.

He said graffiti vandalism was a major problem in Lower Hutt though he doubted a graffiti mural depicting popular local rugby players would be touched.

MPs noted the interim report of the Local Government Committee on the Manukau City Council (Regulation of Prostitution in Specified Places) Bill by 105 to 15with the Greens and Mana opposing.

The bill proposed authorising the Manukau City Council to make bylaws prohibiting the business of prostitution or commercial sexual services in specified public places in Manukau City.

Since the Bill was introduced the Council was dissolved and replaced by the wider Auckland Council.

Auckland Council now wants to take over the bill but this means it would apply to a much larger area.

The interim report asks Parliament to note the intention of the committee to ask for submissions on the reworded bill.

The House rose at 10pm interrupting the committee stage debate on the Employment Relations (Secret Ballot for Strikes) Amendment Bill

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