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

 


PQ 5. Local Government Regulations—Rules Reduction Taskforce

[Sitting date: 23 July 2014. Volume:700;Page:6. Text is subject to correction.]


5. MAGGIE BARRY (National—North Shore) to the Minister of Local Government : What recent announcements has she made about reducing red tape for property owners?

Hon PAULA BENNETT (Minister of Local Government): Our new Rules Reduction Task force will weed out pedantic and loopy rules that frustrate homeowners. I constantly hear complaints from homeowners about rules brought in over years by both central and local government that are confusing, onerous, and costly, even if they are well intentioned. This task force will give New Zealanders an opportunity to submit their ideas about which rules need axing. The group will then look at what should stay and what should go, so that people can get on with the job of building and renovating, without having to wade through unnecessary bureaucracy.

Maggie Barry : What suggestions has she already seen about pedantic red tape?

Hon Member : Is that the red scarf?

Hon PAULA BENNETT : No, she did not say red scarf. She said red tape. The country has got more important things to worry about. In just a few hours yesterday more than 400 comments had been made on the Stuff website by people frustrated by loopy rules. I have heard everything, from people being told where they can put their shower curtain, to someone being told their pool fence was not compliant, because a jasmine plant was growing up the side of it. I have even heard of a person being told that they had to put windows in to let the light in, even though they had just installed a ranchslider, but, of course, it was considered a door. There is no doubt that every time someone has to comply with one of these rules, it holds back what should be common sense for a property owner to be able to do.

Hon David Cunliffe : I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. In the normal way, if the Minister has been reading from official advice, I would like her to table that, please, and in particular confirm—

Mr SPEAKER : Order! Was the Minister quoting from an official document?

Hon PAULA BENNETT : No, I was quoting from a website.

Hon David Cunliffe : I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker.

Mr SPEAKER : I hope it is a point of order.

Hon David Cunliffe : Further to the last point of order, and I thank you for allowing us to proceed, to get to the bottom of the Minister’s assertion—

Mr SPEAKER : Order! Can the member come to his point of order.

Hon David Cunliffe : Could the Minister please table the source regulation that she was referring to, perhaps about the shower curtain?

Mr SPEAKER : Order! That is not a point of order.

Maggie Barry : What is the skill set that you are looking for for the people in the task force?

Hon PAULA BENNETT : I have been thinking about people who might be of value on this task force—people who know that they should not stand up and apologise for being a man, for example—

Mr SPEAKER : Order!

Hon PAULA BENNETT : They are people who no longer think about red scarfs actually being what is holding them back from getting their message across. Those kinds of loopy—

Mr SPEAKER : Order! That answer will not help the order of the House.

Su'a William Sio : Will her task force help to get rid of loopy, bureaucratic rules like councils being required to individually identify every tree they want to protect in their council area by street address or legal description in their council plans, at a cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars to ratepayers, which her Government introduced? [Interruption]

Hon PAULA BENNETT : Oh, brilliant! Thank you. Lovely.

Mr SPEAKER : Order! Again, members will be interested to know the answer.

Hon PAULA BENNETT : Yes, I am sure they will. Actually, it is their decision. It is not a rule that has been put in place. It is how the councils are actually administrating it. This is the kind of thing that we can cut through. We accept that Labour likes layers upon layers of rules that do not actually mean that a community can get on and do what a property owner should be able to do on their own land. The people like this—it is this that they will—

Rt Hon Winston Peters : I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. Mr Sio referred to a specific rule that the local bodies have to comply with. That is the one I want to hear about. That is what he asked about—

Mr SPEAKER : Order! If the member would resume his seat, he might recall the question was whether the task force would help to get rid of such a rule. If we could have a bit more quiet on this side of the House, we could hear the answer. Does the honourable Minister wish to complete—

Hon PAULA BENNETT : I am done.

Rt Hon Winston Peters : I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. My point of order is that Mr Sio asked a specific question and there has not been any attempt to answer it.

Mr SPEAKER : Order! I do not agree with the member. I was listening through a barrage of noise, but from the answer I heard, the Minister was saying that that is exactly the type of thing she hopes the task force will be able to get rid of.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

'Tea Break Bill' Passes: Gordon Campbell On Bad Labour Laws And Poor Safety

By co-incidence, one of the prime dangers of the government’s new employment relations law has been underlined by the release of the death and injury statistics among workers at New Zealand ports. These are highly profitable enterprises for the port owners.

The Port of Tauranga for instance, is expecting its current full-year profit to be between $78 million and $83 million and other ports are enjoying similar boom times – but they are also highly dangerous places for the people who work on or around the port premises. At the Port of Tauranga, there have been 26 serious accidents since 2011, and two deaths. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

No Charges: Outcome Of Operation Clover Investigation

Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls in the Waitemata Police district and wider Auckland area... More>>

ALSO:

UNICEF Report: NZ Cautioned On "Stagnating" Child Poverty

An international report by UNICEF has found that child poverty rates in New Zealand have barely changed since 2008, despite similar sized countries significantly reducing child poverty during the recent recession. More>>

ALSO:

Funding Report: Two Pathways For Transport In Auckland

Commissioned by Auckland Council, the group was asked to investigate two possible pathways for raising $300 million per year ($12 billion over 30 years) to pay for the improvements needed to help fix Auckland’s transport system. More>>

ALSO:

Pay Equity: Equal Pay Win In Court Of Appeal

CTU: The Court of Appeal has made a historic decision paving the way for a substantial equal pay claim for aged care workers. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The TPP Finishing Line, And Amazon’s Woes

If the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal wasn’t such a serious matter, this would be pretty funny… More>>

ALSO:

TV3 Video: Three Die On Roads Over Labour Weekend

The official holiday period ended at 6am Tuesday, with three deaths on the roads during the Labour Day weekend. More>>

Employment Relations Bill: Govt Strains To Get Tea Break Law Through

The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says. More>>

ALSO:

Guns: Police Association Call To Arm Police Full Time

"The new minister gave his view, that Police do not need to be armed, while standing on the forecourt of parliament. The dark irony was that the interview followed immediately after breaking news of a gunman running amok in the Canadian parliament in Ottawa..." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news