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Not enough traction in compliance response

Media release 18 December 2001

Not enough traction in compliance response

The Government's response to the Dunn panel compliance cost report will not provide enough traction for change, says Business NZ.

Chief Executive Simon Carlaw says the Government's response on compliance costs shows diligence in many areas of concern, but fails to meet the need for straightforward incentives for reducing compliance costs and disincentives for more costs.

"For example there was a strong call for transparency over just who is funding objections to resource consents, since many legitimate developments are being stymied by pressure group actions - a simple move that would fix a significant problem - but this has been turned down because the Ministry for the Environment 'does not consider this a major issue'.

"Another example is the sensible request for local councils to develop performance indicators to reduce compliance costs imposed by councils - but the response is that the Government 'does not consider this useful'.

"Other requests have been rejected solely because they would diminish the Government's tax revenues - this indicates that tax revenue is more important than looking after the sector that provides the revenue, and illustrates the Government's continued unwillingness to engage on the tax issues that matter.

"Calls to look at local government roles and powers from a first principles perspective have been fobbed off.

"Moves to streamline information, remove duplication and provide best practice guidelines are welcome, but business wants higher priority placed on those areas that really reduce compliance time and cost - as opposed to more reviews, reports and governmental bodies.

"In particular there is still no real movement on tax, the Resource Management Act and ACC."

Contact: Simon Carlaw wk 04 4966555 or Kathryn Asare for more information

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