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National pushes on with rates inquiry

John Carter MP National Party Local Government Spokesman

23 August 2006

National pushes on with rates inquiry

National Party Local Government spokesman John Carter is deeply suspicious about the motives behind Labour's sudden change of heart on a rating system inquiry.

"The so-called independent inquiry announced by Labour today is a transparent exercise in damage control. There are no terms of reference, nor do we know who will conduct it.

"Clearly, the Government is trying to control the agenda rather than face an embarrassing defeat at tomorrow's select committee meeting."

Mr Carter says the local government select committee already has an inquiry on the agenda tomorrow and he still expects discussion on the draft terms of reference agreed to by the Greens and National.

"Only this morning select committee chair Steve Chadwick said Labour would support my push for an inquiry. I look forward to seeing whether she's been rolled as part of a cosy cook up between Labour and its coalition partners.

"This is a serious issue for home owners and businesses throughout New Zealand. It cannot be another whitewash.

"The inquiry must look into central Government's role in driving up rates. Ratepayers can't be confident that Helen Clark will allow Labour's inquiry to do so based on her track record.

"The last independent inquiry Labour had a hand in was a total farce. The Noel Ingram report into Taito Phillip Field had such narrow terms of reference serious questions were left unanswered."

Mr Carter says to date, Mark Burton has not contacted National seeking its support for an independent inquiry.

ENDS


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