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Liberty Belle - Thu, 03 Mar 2005

Liberty Belle - Thu, 03 Mar 2005

These lunacy sightings seem to be well received - nothing like a little light nonsense on a Friday afternoon. The stories make you want to weep with frustration at how bureaucratic this country is becoming.

This one, like last weeks' is about the Tauranga council's behaviour. A chap subdivided his agricultural land into a small housing subdivision - about 8 to 10 sections. As part of the process he had to do the usual - provide sewers, road access, etc. Fair enough but when he had the road built he asked the council about naming the road.

Not a huge problem, he thought, since the road is actually on his private land, would always be a private road even though it led off a public road. He decided to give the road his family name - for argument's sake, let's call it George Road. But the council informed him that he had to write to the local iwi to advise them of his intentions and seek their comment on his choice of name.

Good grief - he had to get permission to use his own name. In the event he never received a reply from the iwi so presumed he was honoured and privileged to be able to go ahead and use the name he was born with. Is this the meaning of 'honouring the principles of the Treaty'?

Hasn't everything gone too whanau?

I told my taxi driver this story and he wasn't surprised. He and his wife bought a section north of Wellington and when they applied for consent to build a house, a set percentage of the fee they paid automatically went to the local iwi. Is this to forestall any future objections or possible notifications of 'sites of cultural significance'? If so, it's extortion.

Speaking of the dreaded RMA (which should be shredded), Rodney District Council is another trigger happy local authority when it comes to whacking property owners. One poor woman who wrote to me is trying to build a farm shed.

She had to get a resource consent because she lives in an area described as the Muriwai Special Protection Area. "But I'm about ten minutes' drive from the beach," she said. After fighting and complaining she managed to get the cost of the consent reduced to $600 from about $1200.

The irony is that she had the shed specially designed to match her house and blend in with the landscape. As she said, "What really gets me about all this crappy nonsense is that I can own a piece of beautiful land, let it go to thistle and gorse and fill it up with car wrecks, but that's okay. Surely something like a RMA should be put in place to stop this abuse of the environment, rather than it be a vehicle to tax us poor beggars even more."

I think too many poor beggars have put up with this fascist law for too long. It's time for a revolt. It's time for a bonfire of regulations, starting with the RMA. Can anyone tell me what was wrong with the old Town & Country Planning Act that couldn't be fixed?

Yours in liberty Deborah Coddington


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