Churches Need To Speak Out About Rates Plan
United Future leader, Hon Peter Dunne, says churches could find themselves paying rates on churches under plans presently being considered by the Department of Internal Affairs.
Mr Dunne says that is one of the issues being considered by a review of local government funding by the Department of Internal Affairs and Local Government New Zealand.
"I am advised that the Government is planning to introduce legislation by the end of next month to give effect to the review's outcome, so time is short."
"I doubt many churches or churchgoers are aware of the possibility, and will be horrified if these plans materialise without proper consultation."
"For many struggling congregations, the imposition of rates could be a death-knell," he says.
Mr Dunne is urging churches to make their views known about the plan before it is too late.
"People who are concerned should write directly to Local Government Minister Sandra Lee expressing their opposition to the imposition of rates of churches," Mr Dunne says.