Lee's Decision Not To Rate Churches Welcomed
United Future leader, Hon Peter Dunne, has welcomed the decision by Local Government Minister Sandra Lee not to change the current rating regime for churches.
Mr Dunne had earlier raised concern that the Local Government Funding Powers Review would lead to the rating exemption for churches being removed.
However, he has now been advised by the Minister, in answer to a Written Parliamentary Question, that she will not be proposing any changes to the existing rating status of churches as a result of the Review.
"This is welcome news which will be a huge relief to many churches throughout New Zealand."
"Many have contacted me over recent days to express their anxiety that such a change was being considered without their input, and I share their delight that the Minister has now backed off this issue," Mr Dunne says.
Mr Dunne says extending the rating coverage of churches would have caused widespread outrage and would have sent the most perverse of signals to the wider community about the value the Government places on the role of volunteers in this International Year of the Volunteer.
"I am pleased that in this instance the Minister has seen fit to let common sense prevail," Mr Dunne says.