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Levies wasted on non-existent computer

Phil Heatley MP
National Party Housing Spokesman

28 November 2007

Levies wasted on non-existent computer

National Party Housing spokesman Phil Heatley says the Labour Government spent $653,000 developing a computer system for builders’ registration but the system never eventuated.

“The computerised registration system was a feature of Labour’s clunky building legislation. It was to be worth a total of $1.2 million and be operational by November 1. The idea has since been dumped.

“Two thirds of the way through the project, Building and Housing decided there were too many problems with it. And the plug was pulled, with levy-paying builders being left $650,000 out of pocket.”

The system was supposed to record:

* Name, date of birth & contact details.
* Registration number.
* Name of company.
* Status and history of person’s licence.
* Whether licence was ever suspended.

Mr Heatley says the department is now hunting for alternatives, although nothing’s been set in concrete.

“In effect, the money spent on this abandoned project came from the pockets of builders, who’ve faced huge levy increases because of clunky new building laws.

“Housing affordability is such a big issue in New Zealand. In this situation, Labour has taxed builders heavily and then squandered the money it has collected.

“The end result of all this is that people who have built new homes or businesses are being forced to pay more for the same job, while the bureaucracy spends the cash but fails to provide anything in return.

“It’s just typical.”

ENDS

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