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Public get only limited voice on rates inquiry

John Carter MP
National Party Local Government Spokesman

1 November 2006

Public get only limited voice on rates inquiry

“New Zealand First and Labour have conspired to limit public participation in the rates inquiry,” says National Party Local Government spokesman John Carter.

“Ratepayers will want to be heard. Mark Burton should be up front and say whether they’ll get that chance in person, or whether they’ll only be able to provide written submissions.

“They’re only allowing limited participation from the ratepaying public. That is a great disappointment.”

Mr Carter notes that terms of reference for the ‘urgent’ independent inquiry have languished on the back-burner since August. Today the public have been told it’ll cost $1.5 million and won’t report back ‘til the middle of next year.

“Labour won’t be making any significant changes to rates before the next election, that much is now clear.

“Nor does the inquiry pose the fundamental question about which activities ratepayers believe their local councils should be involved in.

“After saying he’d work with other parties to achieve terms of reference that everyone was happy with, the Minister consulted National only once – about four weeks ago. These terms or reference are poorer for it.”


ENDS

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