Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Let The Public Have Their Say On Rates

Let The Public Have Their Say On Rates

Heather Roy Wednesday, 23 August 2006 Speeches - Local Government

Speech on the Local Government (Rating Cap) Amendment Bill.

Good afternoon

Rodney Hide's Local Government (Rating Cap) Amendment Bill would end the unsustainable cycle of crippling rates hikes kiwi ratepayers are currently experiencing.

The House of Parliament is safe, but in their own houses, Kiwis are feeling the pain of rate hikes now. Today, the House of Parliament has an opportunity to invite the public to give us an alternative. Local government can come to parliament too, and give us their views. That would be democracy in action.

Thousands of people have written, called and emailed ACT encouraging us to continue with this issue, and the media have run many stories about the struggles ratepayers are facing.

There is Plimmerton pensioner Roger Beauchamp who was told to sell his family home by the Porirua City Council if he couldn't afford his rates bill. There is the 79 year old widow who is going without her electric blanket to make ends meet along and the pensioner couple who are faced with paying their increased rates bill by cancelling their house and contents insurance after 32 years.

Whether Kiwis are denied an opportunity to have their say this afternoon will be the choice of New Zealand First.

We have heard New Zealand First's concern that charging rates on the basis of property value is unfair, and their call for an inquiry into the whole way local government is funded.

An inquiry will explore these issues, but will take time. Ratepayers are feeling the pain of rates hikes now. Rodney Hide's Bill gives us the opportunity to act today. Capping rates will put ratepayers in charge of councils - a reverse of what we have now, where councils are in charge of ratepayers.

When we walk into Parliament's debating chamber, New Zealanders want us to be bigger than our personal differences, to grow beyond our party politics, and to vote in the interest of Kiwis and their families.

If we did, this Bill would go to Select Committee.

ACT does not believe that any government is important enough to push people out of their family homes. We do not believe that Kiwis should have to go without, to pay for government - central or local they neither need nor want.

Capping rates, as this bill proposes, would make councils budget and prioritise. It would make them live within their means - just like kiwi families do.

It would stop people in this chamber from imposing more duties, responsibilities and costs onto councils. It would let councillors focus on their local communities.

By allowing for inflation, not one dollar will need to be cut from council spending. Roading, water and other infrastructure can still be developed, with exemptions to the cap if necessary. Rodney Hide has already signalled that he will move an amendment so that ratepayers will get to choose which projects go ahead. This is only fair as it is ratepayers who are expected to pay for them.

Passed into law, rates caps would change the relationship between ratepayers and councils. Spending decisions would have to be made transparently, instead of by committees behind closed doors. Control over spending would be held by the people, rather than the politicians.

This Bill is not perfect, and it is not the only answer. But it would bring an end to unsustainable rates hikes, and it provides an opportunity - today - to let the people come to this House and have their say.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Reaction

Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome | Greens on their joining Govt | EDS welcomes new govt | Immigrant groups worry | Feds ready to engage new coalition government | Labour Ministers of the Crown announced

 

Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>

ALSO:


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>

ALSO:

Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>

ALSO:

Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>

ALSO:

Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election