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Greens welcome rates inquiry announcement

1 November 2006

Greens welcome rates inquiry announcement

The announcement today of the terms of reference for the independent inquiry into local government rates is being welcomed by Green Party Local Government Spokesperson Metiria Turei.

"We are very pleased that this inquiry is going ahead and it is great to see that most of the terms of reference discussed by the Green Party and the National Party prior to the announcement of the inquiry have been incorporated," Mrs Turei says.

"The Green Party felt strongly that any inquiry into local government rates should address the extent to which local government can and should be funding public transport, and rates remission issues regarding Maori land. We are delighted that both of these issues will be considered under the terms of reference announced today.

"Hard on the heels of the Stern report, managing the impact of climate change is of vital importance, and under these terms of reference the inquiry will be able to look at the funding of the infrastructure needs of local communities like public transport and water services, which are critical for managing that impact.

"It is also important to investigate the rates impact on Maori land and the consistency of rates remission policies, which the terms of reference make specific provision for.

"Most importantly, the general affordability of rates, particularly for low-income communities, needs attention. The Green Party is encouraging as many people and groups as possible to make submissions to ensure that this inquiry has access to the real issues faced by ordinary people," Mrs Turei says.

ENDS


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