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Ratepayers carry cost of Government buck-passing

John Carter MP
National Party Local Government Spokesman

26 July 2006

Ratepayers carry cost of Government buck-passing

National Party Local Government spokesman John Carter has released a list of 67 laws passed by Labour that have had an impact, either directly or indirectly, on rates.

“More and more local councils are being forced to absorb the costs of Labour’s legislation. Councils have become pseudo tax collectors.

“Each and every year in office, Labour has passed around 10 laws that impose new costs on ratepayers.

“There are dozens of laws which Labour has passed without thinking about how they hurt ratepayers, especially those on fixed incomes,” says Mr Carter.

The list includes:
1 - The No. 1 culprit is the RMA which Labour has amended nine times. The fine print forces rural councils to supply top quality drinking water to all properties. In other words, farm animals may get better drinking water - but all ratepayers will have to pay for it. There are also 14 air quality standards for councils to regulate and administer under the RMA.

2 - Building Act 2004. Created massive costs and delays in the issuing of building consents. Many councils are struggling to attract (and retain) the numbers of staff required to process building consents and the staff they do have are being buried under a mountain of red tape - meaning additional delays and costs for ratepayers.

3 - Local Government Act 2002. Gave councils extra responsibilities in the areas of community and social wellbeing. These new requirements have created additional costs for all councils, and even Local Government New Zealand has said that they have not been matched by a corresponding increase in resources. An example of costs here are the audit requirements for LTCCPs, where councils have to pay auditors tens of thousands of ratepayers' dollars to check that they are consulting their communities. Many of the auditors were brought in from the UK to audit NZ communities they know nothing about.

Mr Carter says nanny state bureaucracy is tying our councils in costly red tape.

“It’s time local government started detailing for ratepayers precisely how many extra costs Labour’s lumbered them with,” says Mr Carter.

--

2000
Animal Welfare Amendment Act
Burial and Cremation Amendment Act
Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Amendment Act
Housing Restructuring (Income-Related Rents) Amendment Act
New Zealand Public Health and Disability Act

2001
Animal Welfare Amendment Act
Dog Control (Hearing Dogs) Amendment Act
Land Transport (Road Safety Enforcement) Amendment Act
Local Electoral Act
Local Government (Elected Member Remuneration and Trading Enterprises) Amendment Act
Local Government (Prohibition of Liquor in Public Places) Amendment Act
Rating Powers (Special Provision for Certain Rates for Educational Establishments) Amendment Act

2002
Animal Welfare Amendment Act
Civil Defence Emergency Management Act
Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (Genetically Modified Organisms) Amendment Act
Local Electoral Amendment Act
Local Government Act
Local Government (Rating) Act
Resource Management (Aquaculture Moratorium) Amendment Act
Sale of Liquor Amendment Act
Weathertight Homes Resolution Services Act

2003
Burial and Cremation Amendment Act
Dog Control Amendment Act
Gambling Act
Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Amendment Act
Land Transport Management Act
Land Transport (Unauthorised Street and Drag Racing) Amendment Act
Local Government Official Information and Meetings Amendment Act
Local Government (Rating) Amendment Act
Prostitution Reform Act
Reserves and Other Lands Disposal Act
Resource Management Amendment Act
Smoke-free Environments Amendment Act

2004
Aquaculture Reform (Repeals and Transitional Provisions) Act
Building Act
Climate Change Response Act
Dog Control Amendment Act
Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (Transitional Provisions and Controls) Amendment Act
Land Transport Amendment Act
Land Transport Management Amendment Act
Local Electoral Amendment Act
Local Government Act 1974 Amendment Act
Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Act
Local Government (Auckland) Amendment Act
Local Government Official Information and Meetings Amendment Act
Local Government (Rating) Amendment Act
Resource Management Amendment Act
Resource Management (Aquaculture Moratorium Extension) Amendment Act
Resource Management (Energy and Climate Change) Amendment Act
Resource Management (Foreshore and Seabed) Amendment Act
Sale of Liquor Amendment Act

2005
Animal Welfare Amendment Act
Building Amendment Act
Gambling Amendment Act
Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (Approvals and Enforcement) Amendment Act
Land Transport Amendment Act
Resource Management Amendment Act
Sale of Liquor Amendment Act

2006
Land Transport Amendment Act
Dog Control Amendment Act
Litter Amendment Act
Local Electoral Amendment Act
Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Act
Local Government Act 1974 Amendment Act
Local Government (Rating) Amendment Act
Rates Rebate Amendment Act
Land Transport Amendment Act (No 2)

ENDS

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