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One Independent Inquiry To Rule Them All

23 August 2006

One Independent Inquiry To Rule Them All

New Zealand First welcomes the Government's announcement of an independent inquiry into local government rates as a huge step in the right direction and a chance for all New Zealanders to have their say on this important matter says Local Government spokesperson Brian Donnelly.

“New Zealand First has taken a principled stand as a lone voice on this matter and has now been joined by the prevailing majority, with groups as disparate as Federated Farmers, Local Government New Zealand and various commentators all seeing the logic in an independent and far reaching inquiry,” said Mr Donnelly.

“Only a genuinely independent inquiry, with the scope to explore the depth and breadth of issues at the core of local government rates, including regulatory regimes and linking rates to property prices, would have the capacity to lead to real change. As we have always said, an inquiry similar to the McLeod report on general taxation was what was needed.

“We now call on those who have expressed their concerns on this matter, including other political parties and lobby groups, to actively play their part in this inquiry, as it is after all what they have asked for.

“We now have the chance to get this issue right.

“For this reason, New Zealand First will not be supporting Rodney Hide's narrow, flawed and now redundant bill.

“Political parties should now join together to help set the parameters for the inquiry, and then all those with an interest in the matter, including Grey Power, should actively participate. We hope to be remembered for having delivered a meaningful remedy to this matter, rather than a pathetic band aid for a gaping wound,” concluded Mr Donnelly.


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