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Greens support Select Committee inquiry into rates

22 August 2006

Greens support Select Committee inquiry into rates

The Green Party has met with the National Party, and both will be supporting a select committee inquiry into ratings issues, Green Party Local Government Spokesperson Metiria Turei says.

"The Greens will not be supporting Rodney Hide's bill because it doesn't deal with the complexities that arise regarding rates, and where a fair balance of funding should lie. The draft terms of reference will now have to be worked out for the select committee..

"We will be seeking to ensure that the terms of reference do address two areas of significant concern to the Greens. We are wanting to look at the extent to which local government can and should be funding public transport. As things stand, there are communities which have poor or non existent public transport services simply because local government either can't afford the cost, or is unwilling to raise rates to meet the costs involved," Mrs Turei says.

"We will be wanting to look at what councils need in the transport area, and what financial support they can and should be able to reasonably expect from central government..

"The other key area for the Greens is that the terms of reference also need to address rates remission issues regarding Maori land. The current system of rating on Maori land tends to perpetuate a long-running source of injustice. In general, we want to hear from Maori about how Maori are faring in coastal areas, where coastal development has been driving up rates within Maori communities.

"We will be circulating our terms of reference to other political parties over the next few days,." Mrs Turei says.

ENDS

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