Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Councils must now take up the challenges

19 November 2007

Statement from David Thornton

“Local councils must now take up the challenges from the recent Rates Inquiry report”.

This was the message NoMoreRates founder/organiser David Thornton gave to the Annual Local Government Finance Forum in Wellington last week.

Addressing this meeting of senior council finance officials, Mr Thornton told them that the recent Rates Inquiry report was a valuable documment as it focused attention on many of the issues and problems surrounding the whole rates issue.

Mr Thornton told the Forum that experienced council officials need to be well aware of the growing anger among ratepayers – an anger reflected in the results of elections to many local councils where rates protesters made significant gains.

Those gains produced major losses – especially those two Auckland Mayors who were held responsible for huge rate increases, and consequently no longer wear the chains of office.

“But the Independent Rates Inquiry did not deal with the real issue – that is the question of what local councils should and should not be doing. Although it pointed out that expenditure by local councils was becoming excessive.

“However the recently announced Royal Commission on Auckland Governance will provide a realistic opportunity to look at the role of councils within the varied communities which together comprise the Auckland Region”

David Thornton urged councils senior finance managers to analyse all the options put foreward in the Rates Inquiry report and put the results before their councils as soon as possible so that the the long-running annual battle between councils and ratepayers can move on to a conculsion which is fair to all residents and brings prudence to council expenditure.

He also urged council finance staff to look at a form of ‘poll tax’ or a per capita tax – even though the Rates Inquiry did not support such a tax.

David Thornton told the Forum “People tend to dismiss a poll tax because of the outcry in England when Margaret Thatcher introduced it. But the problem then was the way it was introduced – and the lack of care in providing support for those who could not afford to pay.

“But at least poll tax has the ability to spread the cost of local government more fairly across the whole community – rather than a tax solely on property owners under the present system”


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Why Herd Immunity Isn’t A Valid Option, And What’s With Our Reluctance To Wear Masks?

Herd immunity has recently bounced back into the headlines as a tool for managing Covid-19, and as a supposed alternative to lockdowns. In the US, a group of scientists was recently brought together in the town of Great Barrington, Massachusetts by a think tank funded by the Koch brothers. The assembled scientists signed the so called Barrington Declaration, which promotes herd immunity as a rational means of re-opening US public schools and the economy at large... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On National Being Shafted By Its Own Creation

As it licks its wounds, let’s hope the National Party can still find time to look back with some pride at what it has achieved in Epsom. The Act Party’s nationwide success on Saturday night has been a tribute to National’s foresight, and to its ... More>>


Green Party: 'Fruitful Discussions ... Further Discussions To Have'

The Green Party says there is a negotiation going on with the Labour Party, but there are more discussions to be had. More>>


Border: No Changes To Border Exemptions After Fishing Crew Test Covid-19 Positive

The cases were detected after routine day three testing but the immigration minister and air commodore agree there's no need to change border exemptions. More>>

PSA: Labour-Led Government Has Mandate For Transformation, Equality And Transparency

The Public Service Association welcomes the progressive electoral landslide New Zealand voters delivered on Saturday, and the union says its members look forward to implementing policies that reduce poverty and inequality, support affordable housing ... More>>


Stats NZ: New Report Shows Significant Changes To New Zealand’s Climate

Climate change is already happening in New Zealand and could have a profound impact on future generations of New Zealanders, a new report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ says. Our atmosphere and climate 2020 , released today, includes analysis ... More>>


Judith Collins: Obese People Must Take Responsibility For 'personal Choices'

National Party leader Judith Collins has described obesity as a weakness and says people should not 'blame systems for personal choices'. More>>

Māori Party: Poll Reveals Tamihere On Cusp Of Historic Māori Movement Election Victory

John Tamihere’s election campaign is on the rise and on track to return the Māori Party to parliament, a new Māori TV poll has revealed. The poll released on 11 October during the seventh and final Māori TV Maori Electoral campaign coverage has Tamihere ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Four-Year Terms Of Parliament, And On How The US Courts Are Dismantling Democracy

Last week, the issue of four-year parliamentary terms surfaced again. Infuriatingly, it is being discussed purely in terms of its convenience for political parties. They’d get so much more time to enact their policies, free of scrutiny or sanction by voters ... More>>





InfoPages News Channels