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Local body candidates need to consider small businesses

26 August 2013

Local body candidates need to consider small businesses

Candidates in the 2013 local body elections need to consider what they will do to support and encourage small businesses, the Motel Association of New Zealand (MANZ) says.

Despite an improving economic picture, motels and other small businesses which form the beating heart of New Zealand’s economy still face a number of challenges and need local authorities to support them, MANZ Chief Executive Michael Baines says.

“Motels have been facing steady increases in their costs over the past few years, with rates and other regulatory costs often a significant factor in this, and yet revenue has not risen at the same rate,” Mr Baines says.

“Not only this, but motels face a real threat from the rise of unlicensed and unregulated accommodation in the form of holiday homes, apartments and bed and breakfasts.”

For too long now, councils have viewed motels and other small businesses as a cash cow, with rates and other compliance costs ramped up as necessary to pay for their pet projects, Mr Baines says.

“We’re encouraging our members to ask mayoral, council and ward candidates in their area what they will do to support and foster small businesses, and how they would clamp down on unlicensed cowboy operators which threaten the reputation of New Zealand as a quality tourist destination.”

“As businesses motels are happy to pay their fair share of rates and other costs, but in this election we will make sure those who have control of the public purse are committed to providing the best service at the lowest cost, and that they will work to ensure a level playing field for all,” Mr Baines concluded.

Below are the questions MANZ suggests its members ask of candidates in the 2013 local body elections.

Questions for Local Authority candidates

1. What are your views on apartments built to residential standards, paying residential rates, operating as commercial accommodation, but competing with commercial operators such as Motels and Hotels which are being built to far more rigorous standards and paying commercial rates?

2. Why does the council allow properties such as B&Bs and apartments to operate without being required to provide accessibility units?

3. Why should moteliers be required to pay commercial rates and charges for their domestic accommodation?

4. What is the council going to do about B&Bs, Holiday Homes and Apartments competing directly against Motels without the requirement to provide the same level of fire and safety standards?

5. Why do i-SITES require a commission from those moteliers for rooms that they sell in their local community, when they are partially subsidised by the rate payers (and targeted rates, where they apply)?

6. Why do i-SITES support products such as home stays and B&Bs that do not pay commercial rates and/or targeted tourism rates?

7. As the provider of the largest portion of commercial accommodation in New Zealand, what is the council doing to support motels in the region?

8. What is the council going to do to attract and support the tourism industry in the community?

9. What are council doing about curbing the costs that they pass on to the business community?

10. Do the Council believe they have a duty of care to ensure all visitors to their region have access to safe and secure accommodation?


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