Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


Feds optimistic about local government review

The thoroughness of an issues paper released today on local government funding and financing is cause for optimism, Federated Farmers President Katie Milne says.

"The Productivity Commission’s paper sets out key topics as it investigates what drives local government costs now and into the foreseeable future, and invites people to comment on the shortcomings of current systems, as well as suggest alternatives.

"Federated Farmers has consistently said that cost escalation by many of our councils is out of control, and that the current medieval property values-based rating system is not fit for modern local government," Katie says.

Rates made up 48% of the total revenue of New Zealand’s 78 local authorities in 2017, "yet a property owner’s rates bill often has hardly any relationship with what that family or business actually uses by way of council services.

"Federated Farmers is delighted that the Productivity Commission’s issues paper notes not only that rates have been rising much faster than the Consumer Price Index but that ‘…non-residential ratepayers, including businesses and farms, may face distinct affordability issues’."

The Productivity Commission signals its intention to examine regulatory creep and cost-shifting (the trend of government to pass legislation/offload costs that have big impacts on councils). It also notes growth in spending by councils on what some people consider ‘non-core’ activities (e.g. culture, recreation and sport, community and economic development), which was 17% of councils’ total operating expenditure in 2017, a rise of 35% since 2009.

"Local authorities’ costs are a significant and rising burden for agri-businesses. Federated Farmers will certainly be putting in a submission to the Productivity Commission by the February 15 deadline and urges farmers and other Kiwis to take this opportunity as well," Katie says.

"In our submission and advocacy we will be emphasising the need for the Commission to dig deeper into the averages to expose the inequities of the rates system for groups such as farmers and the elderly whose incomes do not reflect their properties’ values (and therefore their rates)."


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Government: New Year Border Exception For Seasonal Workers In The Horticulture And Wine Industries

2000 additional RSE workers to enter New Zealand early next year employers must pay these workers at least $22.10 an hour employers will cover costs of managed isolation for the RSE workers RSE workers will be paid the equivalent of 30 hours work a week ... More>>


Grey Power: Is Disappointed To Learn Of More Bank Closures

Many older people are being left without essential services because of cost cutting and the march of modern technology. It is now expected that most banking transactions can occur via the internet or telephone. Jan Pentecost, President of the Grey Power ... More>>


Economy: Supply Chain On Brink Of Overload Says National Road Carriers

The New Zealand supply chain is on the brink of overload and it looks like the upcoming peak imports season may push it over the edge says National Road Carriers Association (NRC) CEO David Aitken. “Worldwide supply chains are in disarray,” says Mr Aitken. ... More>>

Stats NZ: Annual Goods Trade Surplus At 28-Year High

New Zealand’s annual goods trade surplus reached a 28-year high of $2.2 billion as imports tumbled in the year ended October 2020, Stats NZ said today. “This is the largest annual surplus since the July 1992 year, driven mainly by much lower ... More>>

ComCom: How Real Is That Bargain?

The Commerce Commission urges retailers and consumers to think hard about the bargains being offered as ‘Black Friday’ and Christmas draw near. Black Friday has now overtaken Boxing Day in terms of retail spending, according to data from electronic ... More>>

Stats NZ: Births And Deaths: Year Ended September 2020

Births and deaths releases provide statistics on the number of births and deaths registered in New Zealand, and selected fertility and mortality rates. Key facts For the year ended September 2020: 57,753 live births and 32,670 deaths ... More>>


Forest & Bird: Kākāpō Wins Bird Of The Year 2020

The nation has voted and Aotearoa New Zealand has a new Bird of the Year. New Zealand’s moss-colored flightless parrot has climbed to the top-spot for the second time in Forest & Bird’s annual Te Manu Rongonui o Te Tau/Bird of the Year competition. ... More>>