Press releases: archive 2008

Tuesday 23 December 2008 (Biosecurity)

Speedy work helps horse racing industry

Racing Minister John Carter said that urgent work by MAF Biosecurity New Zealand (MAFBNZ) earlier this year had a positive outcome for the horse racing industry.

Biosecurity Minister Hon David Carter announced a new import health standard (IHS) for the importation of horses from Australia that will be in place in time for the summer racing carnival.

The new standard removes existing import requirements for equine influenza, which included vaccination, testing, pre-export and post-arrival quarantine. Horses will be allowed to cross the Tasman under the same conditions that were in place prior to last year's equine influenza outbreak in Australia.

"This will be of significant benefit to the horse racing sector and is a great example of how Government can support industry rather than hold it back with bureaucracy," Mr Carter says.

"I listened closely to industry feedback and was aware of the urgency of this matter with the summer racing season virtually upon us.

"All the submissions were supportive of the new IHS and I agreed the Ministry should act as quickly as possible.

"The outcome is a win for all, with industry needs met at the same time as ensuring our world-class biosecurity standards are maintained," says Mr Carter.

MAFBNZ will issue the IHS as provisional today with the final import health standard taking effect in the first week of January.

New Zealand is free of equine influenza and has never had an outbreak of the disease. MAFBNZ has worked closely with the Equine Health Association and equine industry to develop a comprehensive response plan and vaccination policy, to prepare for a possible response if equine influenza is ever found in New Zealand.

Wednesday 17 December 2008 (Minister of Civil Defence)

Briefing underlines New Zealand's 'hazardscape'

Minister Hon John Carter has released the Briefing to the Incoming Minister for his civil defence portfolio.

The briefing explains leadership in civil defence; the Minister's role, legislation, strategy, planning, management of emergencies and co-ordination across government; and the policies being implemented.

Volcanic eruption is identified as the most under-valued threat, particularly because of the possible consequences to the whole country's economy from an eruption in Auckland.

A major earthquake is one of the most significant hazards. Large movements on the Wellington and Main Alpine Faults would have serious consequences for the capital and most of the South Island.

Research and modelling since the Boxing Day 2004 tsunami indicate that the possible loss of life from a tsunami hitting New Zealand is at least on a similar scale to other major events.

However, the National Hazardscape Report referred to in the briefing identifies floods as New Zealand's most frequent and costly natural hazard.

Wednesday 17 December 2008 (Minister of Racing)

Jobs, heritage and community

Racing Minister John Carter has released the formal briefing by the Department of Internal Affairs on his new portfolio.

"The briefing shows that racing has a significant impact on New Zealand's economy, and employment," Mr Carter said.

"Racing contributes $1.48 billion dollars to the economy, and sustains more than 9,000 jobs.

"Racing contributes to the sense of community with more than 150 race days, the work of more than 4,000 volunteers, and the participation of more than 27,000 racing club members."

Mr Carter said our strong racing heritage linked generations and its international reputation enhanced the country's agricultural prestige.

"As Minister I plan to listen to the views of the many people who take part in racing and to support the development of the sport, which has brought pleasure and excitement to generations of New Zealanders".

Monday 15 December 2008 (Minister for Senior Citizens)

Briefing summarises issues facing older New Zealanders

Senior Citizens Minister John Carter says the ministerial briefing on his new portfolio provides a useful summary of the issues facing older New Zealanders.

"With the older population predicted to double by the year 2028 and to be a quarter of our total population in 2051, we have a critical window of opportunity," Mr Carter said.

"New Zealand needs to carefully consider polices and services that ensure older people can live where they want and participate in their communities as long as they are able.

"The Office for Senior Citizens briefing points to some of the challenges New Zealand will need to address. These include meeting older peoples' growing expectations on healthcare and ensuring older people know where to go for help and are encouraged to do so.

"We have the opportunity to improve needs assessments for older people so their health needs are better met, to work with local government on ways to make communities friendlier, safer places; and to support older New Zealanders to continue working for as long as they are able.

"I'm heartened that we are making good progress. Older people have a great deal to offer. Feedback from organisations working for older people reaffirms my commitment to ensuring that the valuable contribution all older New Zealanders have to make to this country is realised," Mr Carter said.

Tuesday 9 December 2008 (Minister of Civil Defence)

Minister hosts key delegation

John with Dr Kuntoro Mangkusubroto

Civil Defence Minister John Carter is hosting a key delegation from Indonesia soon after taking over the portfolio.

Highly-ranked Indonesian government officials, senior university management and engineers led by Dr Kuntoro Mangkusubroto are in the country this week for five days of meetings, workshops and visits to engineering projects.

New Zealand Government Ministers, Crown Research Institutes, universities, government agencies, and engineering and other businesses working with Indonesian authorities are all involved. Representatives from the Geoscience Australia and the Australian government aid agency, AusAid, are also travelling to New Zealand to meet the Indonesian delegation.

Dr Kuntoro Mangkusubroto is responsible for Indonesia's US$7 billion four-year programme to rebuild Aceh and Nias after the Boxing Day 2004 tsunami and subsequent earthquakes in 2005 and 2006. After meeting with Mr Carter on Monday, he gave a public lecture at Wellington Town Hall.

"Dr Kuntoro Mangkusubroto is a world renowned engineer. It was interesting and useful to be able to discuss the reconstruction project that has followed the tsunami and earthquakes," Mr Carter said.

"Earthquakes and tsunami are hazards that we also face in New Zealand and the geography of Aceh and Nias is not that different to Wellington and many other parts of our own country. We can learn from what happened in Indonesia and from its recovery programme and we can share information about our preparedness programmes."

He said the visit also helped in building relationships between key New Zealand and Indonesian organisations and individuals with ramifications for trade in geoscience technology and associated fields.

Mr Carter is also the Minister for Senior Citizens, Minister for Racing, and Associate Minister of Local Government.

Tuesday 18 November 2008

From The Northland Age: The Honourable John Carter

Northland MP John Carter has been rewarded for a 21-year career as the National Party's MP in Northland (formerly the Hobson then the Bay of Islands electorate) with four ministerial posts.

Mr Carter, one of three National MPs who have been given portfolios outside Cabinet, will be the Minister for Senior Citizens, Civil Defence and Racing, and associate Minister of Local Government (where the Minister will be ACT Party leader Rodney Hide).

Mr Carter said yesterday that he was "stoked, absolutely chuffed," although he had no illusions regarding the scale of the challenges facing him. There was a good deal of work to be done in the senior citizens and Civil Defence portfolios, but he especially looked forward to playing a key role on addressing the "huge issues" facing local government.

Prime Minister-elect John Key yesterday identified the major problems in that area being the significant devolution of government responsibilities to local government by the last administration, and huge demands for infrastructural development, while Mr Carter has been a strident critic of devolution over recent years.

Mr Carter said he would become his electorate's first ministerial since 1957, adding that he was delighted by his elevation, not only for himself but for his electorate and all the people who had supported him throughout his Parliamentary career. His National Party predecessors Logan Sloane and Neil Austin, and Social Credit's Vern Cracknell (who held the Hobson seat for one term in the 1960s) had never progressed beyond the ranks of back benchers.

"My immediate challenge to identify what each of these portfolios requires, and setting up a system for working with the Minister of Local Government," he said.

"My first priority, as it has always been, will be the electorate and the people I represent, regardless of which roll they are on and how they voted," he added however.

"I am also determined to see that my electorate wins its fair share of the investment in infrastructure that has been promised. There is a lot of work to be done by me, Phil Heatley (National, Whangarei), Hone Harawira (Maori, Te Tai Tokerau), and indeed all the Northland MPs for the betterment of this region."

And while it was early days, he was pleased to detect an air of stability and unity that had not been apparent prior to the general election.
"There is a strong feeling now that we are in a position to move forward," he said.

"The bickering that we have been hearing for so long seems to have ended."

Mr Carter has a strong background in local government. He began his 20-year career as treasurer for Waitomo, then took up the post of senior clerk with the Otamatea County Council. He was then the youngest ever senior clerk in New Zealand, and became the country's youngest county clerk when he took up that position with the Hokianga County Council (which he served from 1978 to 1986). He entered Parliament in 1987.

Tuesday 28 October 2008

Local Government policy targets infrastructure

National Party Local Government spokesman John Carter says the party's Local Government policy is all about growth and reducing the burden of Wellington-based bureaucracy on ratepayers.

"Over the next decade, New Zealand will spend an estimated $60 billion on infrastructure. National is committed to large-scale investment to lift our economy and raise environmental standards. Ultimately, the costs of infrastructure investment will fall on New Zealanders as ratepayers, taxpayers, or users.

"National will work with local government to ensure costs are allocated fairly and efficiently, and to share responsibility for delivering value for money in public spending."

National will:

  • Involve local government in the preparation of a 20-year national infrastructure plan to set clear directions for vital infrastructure investment, including high-priority areas
  • Develop a common investment framework for infrastructure that spans central and local government and includes a range of financing tools
  • Reform the Resource Management Act to simplify and streamline consent processes because more infrastructure, plus a more efficient approvals process, will give Local Government better results for their money

Mr Carter says councils now have new obligations in areas as diverse as gambling, prostitution, and dog control. These new responsibilities have involved extra costs on councils and, therefore, on ratepayers which have not always been adequately funded by the Labour Government.

"Hamilton City Council has identified at least 60 pieces of legislation passed by Labour that have imposed additional costs on ratepayers. Wanganui District Council has estimated these cost their ratepayers the equivalent of a 6% increase in rates per year."

National will review the legislative burden imposed on local authorities to see what is needed and effective, and to ensure that costs fall appropriately. National will not commit to new legislation which impacts on ratepayers without talking to local government.

National will:

  • Review the legislation that central government imposes on local government and ensure that the costs fall appropriately
  • Amend the Building Act to reduce building compliance issues. See our policy on Building and Construction for more details
  • Reform the RMA to simplify and streamline consent processes and reduce delays, uncertainties, and costs. See our policy on Resource Management for more details

National believes that current local government structures and relationships in Auckland act as a barrier to development and the delivery of cost-efficient services.

"If we are serious about Auckland being a world-class city that competes with Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane then it needs to have high-class regional infrastructure which makes the most effective use of regional assets.

"We cannot avoid addressing this issue. Economic development in Auckland is crucial to New Zealand's future growth," Mr Carter says.

"Local government reform in Auckland should focus on whether there is good regional infrastructure, sound and consistent regulation, and economic growth throughout the region, as well as making sure each community in our biggest city feels appropriately represented.

"A National Government will work through these issues with local government to find a solution that will benefit both Auckland and ultimately the rest of New Zealand."

National will:

  • Support the Royal Commission providing an opportunity for people within the Auckland region to express their views about the structures that will best achieve the goals set out above
  • Consult with Aucklanders once the findings of the commission are known
  • Implement changes that will best achieve the goals of good regional infrastructure, sound and consistent regulation, and economic growth

View National's Local Government policy

Sunday 5 October 2008

National to improve civil defence capabilities

National's civil defence policy will improve the effectiveness of New Zealand's civil defence capabilities and strengthen our communities so they can better cope with the natural hazards they face, says National's Civil Defence spokesman, John Carter.

"We need to ensure that our communities are prepared for disasters, that our emergency services are ready to respond, and that households and local economies can recover quickly from such events."

National will improve disaster recovery by investigating ways of making sure Kiwi families affected by natural disasters are better equipped to rebuild their lives and homes.

We will also enhance response capacity by:

  • Advancing national co-ordination of public alerting systems
  • Making better use of information technology for emergency management
  • Encouraging joint delivery of civil defence emergency services to enhance capability and improve efficiencies
  • Investigating ways to improve and strengthen the ability of our armed forces to assist in civil defence emergencies
  • Working more closely with community groups to ensure that emergency response capability is developed where necessary

"National will provide certainty in the area of civil defence by requiring civil defence groups to publicly report on their emergency preparedness every year. We will ensure that an assessment of the impact of natural disasters is incorporated into infrastructure planning and development.

"New Zealand faces a broad range of natural hazards due to our diverse landscape, extensive coastline, active geology, and reliance on primary production. Effective civil defence is essential in reducing the risks presented by these hazards."

View National's civil defence policy

Wednesday 17 September 2008 (Local government)

FNDC purchase Kemp property

It is very good news for New Zealand as well as Kerikeri that the Kemp family has sold an historically significant piece of land in the Kororipo Kerikeri Basin to public agencies, the MP for Northland, John Carter said today.

It was announced yesterday that the land has been jointly purchase by the Department of Conservation and the Far North District Council. The FNDC will hold and manage the land.

"This was the last remaining piece of privately-owned land in this important heritage site. The successful sustainable development of the Basin hinges on appropriate use of the property, as outlined in the adopted Sustainable Development Plan," Mr Carter said.

The plan was written by a working group comprising tangata whenua, DOC, the New Zealand Historic Places Trust and FNDC and adopted last year as a template for the future of the basin. It contained firm principles for the site's future, Mr Carter said.

"The historic significance, character and values of the core heritage zone should not be adversely affected by any development," he added. "Because the basin is where two cultures met, lived and traded together, it is culturally and historically one of the most importance sites in our country. All involved there must treat it with the care and respect it deserves."

The land just purchased had, in the early 1800s, housed the first buildings for the English settlers and their families. It currently houses a restaurant, an old black-smith's shed and the country's oldest pear tree, planted in 1819. The land is considered to be an option for allowing pedestrian access to a proposed new car park behind the property.

Mr Carter added that New Zealand would be forever grateful to the Kemp family for agreeing to the public agency purchase.

"The Kemp family has played a major role in the basin since the early 1800s when James Kemp came to Kerikeri with the Church Missionary Society. The family's association with the house dates back to when he and his wife Charlotte began living there in 1831, and continued until their great-grandson Ernest Kemp gifted it to the nation in 1976."

Mr Carter said he hoped the development of the basin would continue with the imminent construction of a footbridge, to link the north and south sides of the river.

"Protection of the site has been enhanced substantially by the removal of the road bridge, and there's no doubt that the basin is now a delightfully tranquil place to visit.

"However the people of Kerikeri were promised that a footbridge would be in place before the road bridge was removed, and it is disappointing that the council has been unable to achieve this in time for the summer."

Mr Carter said he understood that the cost of an agreed-to design had proved prohibitive; he looked forward to a more cost-effective option being presented to the community soon.

Tuesday 12 August 2008

Northland Rugby

I am very disappointed in the Rugby Union's decision to exclude Northland from the Air New Zealand Cup.

Northland is a great rugby province, has played a huge part in the history of New Zealand rugby, has supplied many famous All Blacks and played its part in shield history and rugby generally.

I am totally supportive of the Northland Rugby Union and back them totally. I urge the Rugby Union to reconsider its position and I will be working with the Northland Rugby Union to try and achieve a reversal.

Wednesday 6 August 2008 (IPU)

New Zealand MP leads succesful international delegation to Middle East

John Carter, National MP for Northland, has recently returned from leading a highly successful fact-finding delegation to the Middle East to discuss ways of resolving conflict in the region.

Mr Carter led the delegation, consisting of a senior British MP and a representative of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), at the request of the IPU. Mr Carter is presently Chairman of the IPU's Committee on Middle East Questions and has been active in promoting the Committee as a forum where Israeli and Palestinian parliamentarians can meet.

The objective of the mission was to meet with representatives of the Israeli Parliament (the Knesset) and the Palestinian Legislative Council (the Palestinian Parliament) to try to get agreement to ongoing dialogue between the two parliaments.

To that end the mission was an outstanding success. Representatives of the Knesset and the Palestinian Legislative Council all agreed to attend four meetings a year hosted by the IPU, where they can discuss agreed agenda items.

"This has been a terrific success. It's a major achievement just to get these groups to agree to meet in the same room, so getting their commitment to regular meetings is a great step forward. Israeli and Palestinian members of parliament will be able to meet in a safe environment supported by members of the IPU's Committee on Middle East Questions. We hope to get some really productive results from this," Mr Carter said.

"There's a lot of hard work ahead for the Committee, but I am confident that we can make a contribution to the move towards a peaceful and prosperous future for both the Israelis and the Palestinians."

Meeting report Meeting report

Tuesday 5 August 2008 (Civil Defence)

Well Done Northland

The many services provided during the horrendous storms that ripped through Northland last week deserve commendation.

Many of these services are provided by volunteers: the firemen, who attended everything from fallen trees to flooded roads and homes, ambulance and search and rescue crews, the electricity providers who worked on repairs as soon as physically possible even during terrifically high winds and pouring rain, the coastguard, police, caregivers and people helping each other.

Thanks must also go to the civil defence people who worked in the deluge to assist and advise.

The efforts of all to ensure the community can return to normal as soon as possible was a wonderful example of pulling together.

Wednesday 30 July 2008 (Local government)

Congratulations to Yule on Local Govt appointment

National Party Local Government spokesman, John Carter, is congratulating Hastings Mayor Lawrence Yule on his appointment as the new president of Local Government New Zealand.

"Myself and the National Party are looking forward to working with Mr Yule in the constructive way that we have developed in the past and look forward to building on that."

Mr Carter says he is also looking forward to continuing the very good working relationship National has with Wellington mayor Kerry Prendergast, who will continue in her role as vice-president of Local Government New Zealand.

"National has enjoyed a strong relationship with Kerry. I am sure she will continue to provide strong leadership alongside Mr Yule.

"I would like to wish outgoing president Basil Morrison all the best for the future. He has been a dedicated and long-serving president of LGNZ during challenging times. His contribution is greatly valued."

Monday 21 July 2008 (IPU)

New Zealand MP to lead International Delegation to Middle East

John Carter, National MP for Northland, is to lead an international fact-finding delegation to the Middle East this month to discuss ways of resolving conflict in the region.

Mr Carter is heading the delegation at the request of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU).

The IPU meets twice a year to allow parliamentarians to discuss matters of global importance, and carries out work to further democracy around the world.

Mr Carter has been New Zealand's permanent delegate to the IPU for the last three years. He was elected to the IPU's Committee on Middle East Questions in 2006, and has been acting Chairman of the committee since April this year.

Since joining the committee Mr Carter has been instrumental in refocusing its work towards providing a forum for Israeli and Palestinian parliamentarians to meet.

"It is a great honour to be asked to lead this group and for a New Zealand representative to be taking a proactive role in advancing the peace process in the Middle East," Mr Carter said.

Mr Carter said the IPU could offer Israeli and Palestinian members of parliament an opportunity to meet and discuss issues relating to the peace process, supported by other parliamentary colleagues.

In addition to Mr Carter, the delegation will consist of Rt Hon Ann Clwyd from the United Kingdom House of Commons and Mr Anders Johnsson, the Secretary-General of the IPU.

They will meet with representatives of various political factions in the Knesset (Israeli Parliament), Israeli Government Ministers, the Palestinian Legislative Council, the United Nations Relief Agency for Palestinian Refugees, and other local groups.

They will also meet with representatives of the Middle East Quartet, a group of envoys from the USA, Russia, European Union and United Nations, involved in mediating the peace process in the area.

Monday 21 July 2008 (Local government)

Bureaucracy out of control

The Department of Building and Housing is a classic example of an out-of-control Labour Government department, costing the New Zealand tax payers hundreds of thousands of dollars, making dopey decisions that are ruining the future of many builders and building companies, shifting significant costs onto local government and ratepayers, causing spiralling increasing costs to home owners and as a consequence home ownership to move out of the reach of new home buyers and on top of all that are failing to achieve the main point they were set up for and that is to stop any more leaky homes being built.

At a debate in Whangarei on Thursday night, organised by the New Zealand Institute of Building, John Carter Member of Parliament for Northland, told the audience of over one hundred builders, engineers, planners, architects and local government mayors and officers, "that the DBH is out-of-control. The growth in the number of bureaucrats employed by that department is huge. When they first started in 1999 there were the equivalent of 31 and a half full time staff which has now grown to over 385 when I last looked. As one person said to me "wrestling with the DBH is like wrestling with a pig in mud. After a while you begin to realise that the pig likes it" he said

"The Builders Licensing regime that was meant to have been in place twelve months ago, but is now delayed for at least two years, has become so complicated when it was supposed to be simple, has resulted in approximately only 350 builders out of over 27000 actually being licensed to date."

Mr Carter said he had recently been told by a builder that " My wonderful Builders Licence that I have worked so hard to get; jumped through all their hoops; will expire on 30/04/09 - and now they tell us these licences are not compulsory until November 2010 (it was 2009). Even so, I have to renew this on 1/05/09 even though this licence doesn't mean a thing now until November 2010. Man am I a loser or what?" concluded the builder.

The Minister recently stated in "Business Northland" that for every rule or regulation that is issued he'll ensure that ten existing rules will be deleted or extinguished.

"The building code has had thirteen amendments to it since he took over the reins and no reduction, one can only assume that, if he keeps to his pronouncement, that there are 130 rules and regulations about to be cancelled --- not likely I suspect".

"The schedule of timber treatments for framing timbers is so complicated many builders no longer understand them. It used to be relatively easy. Boric treated frames above ground and tanalith treated below ground. Now it is so difficult most builders just take it all at 3.1 Tanalith treated and this adds to the cost on the basis it is better to be safe than find you have the wrong treatment in the framing. Also some of the new timber treatments are causing health problems with builders and it is suspected that the tin based treatments are causing nose bleeds and skin infections".

"Inspections have now become far more complicated and time consuming. Prior to the Minister's intervention, inspection took about 15 minutes depending on the builder and the inspector, and the stage the work was at. Since the implementation of the Local Authority Accreditation scheme, the time of these inspections has increased to thirty minutes to forty five minutes, and the final compliance inspection can take up to two hours with all the form filling that has to be done".

"The cost of building consents themselves, since the Building Act 2004, has increased for an average home. One local authority has told me the cost has increased from between $1500 to $1700 since 2004 to between $3500 to $4000 today".

"Even the costs of providing copies of the New Zealand Standards, Building Code Documents etc are ever increasing because they are constantly being upgraded or changed and added to, and the accreditation demands local government have a library of up to date documents that show the latest, and the past rules have been stamped superseded".

"The local authority accreditation scheme has been costly and time consuming and is ongoing with a two yearly review of all Councils. No figures have been stated but $2000 per staff member for on-going accreditation every two years is not unrealistic and this cost will be passed on to the customer. It is estimated to have cost at local government in total at least $8,000,000".

"And the accreditation scheme has caused Council inspectorial staff to increase on average by 20% to implement the rules and regulations of the accreditation scheme".

"One of our smaller councils has had to increase their processing staff in the last twelve months from one and a half full time equivalents to seven just to cope with the processing requirements. In another the number of building staff has increased by six which costs around $700k if you add salaries, overheads (vehicles, extra accommodation, computers, fuel, training costs etc). That cost is reflected in increased fees and charges".

"All councils have been faced with the same cost increases to a larger or lesser extent".

"And of course the paper work has increased at a tremendous rate. One council which just four years ago had a building application form that comprised four pages now has an application form that is made up of twenty pages".

"The number of forms under the Building (Forms) Regulations 2004 is increasing and there are now 16 forms pertaining to the various sections of the Act. Whereas under the old regime the average application for a dwelling had between 15 and 20 pieces of paper including the plans and specifications for a typical home, this has now increased threefold and sometimes that is still not enough to satisfy the council and the application must be suspended awaiting further details. There has to be details of every flashing, fixing, etc. Nothing is now left to the skill of the builder. It all has to be documented which keeps adding to the cost of compliance".

"Most Local authorities have to produce a 10 page advisory on how to fill out the building consent application for the builders as it has become so complicated when applying for the consent. An application check sheet is 5 pages for a single residential building where it used to be one".

"I'm sure you'll be aware about the issues around producer statements. They are the documents usually given by architects, engineers, tradesmen etc to certify that a project has been designed and/or inspected in accordance with the Building consent/act/code. They've been in use for years and were provided for in the Building Act 1991 - but they were left out of the 2004 Act".

"However, they're are still being used, and councils still had to write policy and processes and documents etc to say how they would handle producer statements as part of the Accreditation process. There's lots of councils and now there's lots of different approaches and its driving the building industry NUTS trying to deal with the different councils with different requirements. A big issue for many is the requirement to be "on the approved list" of the council and the requirement to have a high level of professional indemnity insurance - often way above the cost of the job that they're working on".

"Council are refusing to accept producer statements from some authors, so CCC's can't be issued, so some builders aren't getting paid etc etc. It's a SHAMBLES".

"Finally, after not wanting to discuss the issue because producer statements aren't in the Act, the DHB has agreed to set up a working group to try to draft a standard Code of Practice for producer statements. It's early days but I hope this group make some progress in reducing the bureaucracy and confusion in this area".

"All these changes do not mean we are building better homes. It just means we have better paperwork that costs more, because councils are obliged to retain and maintain the records at an increased cost that must be part of the overall compliance costs".

"And more rules and regulations didn't build better, water tight or safer homes. It is claimed that 20 to 25% percent of buildings in new Zealand today are non-compliant" said Mr Carter "and even more worrying, more leaky homes are being built in New Zealand every day because the DBH and its "offshoots" are not ensuring that the materials used in homes and building in New Zealand will last" Mr Carter claimed.

"Our party don't see why local government should be responsible for the building industry's failure". Mr Carter told the meeting

"We are working with the industry to reduce regulation and compliance. We will be introducing a bill into parliament to tackle the red tape nightmare within the first year".

"We are exploring a home owners warranty and have been working with Master Builders and Certified Builders and the insurance sector on this. Interesting to see Signature Homes come out with their own scheme just the other day. We are interested in a builders registration regime rather than the over complicated and over bureaucratic builders licensing system".

"What it boils down to it is this: you have a choice between two philosophies. This Minister and his Party who believe in rules and regulations and control and bureaucracy or a party who believes in passing the responsibility for your industry back to the industry, while at the same time protecting consumers as a major consideration", concluded Mr Carter.

27 June 2008 (Local government)

Far North District Council accreditation

Northland MP and National's Local Government spokesman John Carter is congratulating the Far North District Council for achieving its accreditation under the Building Act, but says that it has come at a huge cost.

"It has been a major challenge for most councils up and down the country to achieve this requirement which was imposed on them by the nanny state Labour Government.

"The screeds of red tape and massive compliance costs associated with getting accreditation mean this has been an extraordinarily expensive exercise and one which will impact on Far North District Council ratepayers."

Mr Carter says it is estimated that, on average, each local authority have had their costs increased by at least $250,000 since Labour's Building Act was passed in 2004.

Staff numbers in the building compliance area have increased on average by about 20%.

'We should also not overlook the fact that this accreditation is only for two years and that even Shane Jones's Department of Building and Housing, is indicating that Local Government will be put through the hoops when the next round of accreditation begins.

"This will once again, be more cost to ratepayers. Red tape and nanny state mentality is the last thing we need up here in the Far North," says Mr Carter.

29 May 2008 (Local government)

Possible misuse of mental health funding worries MP

John Carter, Member of Parliament for Northland, has asked the Health and Disability Commissioner and the Auditor General to enquire into the mental health funding that comes from the Northland District Health Board (NDHB) and is allocated to the Ngatihine Trust.

"There appears to have been a blatant case of misuse of authority and allegations of a serious conflict of interest" said John Carter MP.

"While I have dealt with the particulars of the case concerned I wanted the enquiry to look at whether any other misuse of authority has arisen and I also want comment why the accountability structure from both the Ngatihine Trust itself and from the NDHB weren't robust enough to have discovered this particular case which has been going on for longer than two years and was brought to my attention a couple of months ago.

In a letter to me they state 'We have advised the person concerned of the conflict of interest he was involved in and how unacceptable that is to our organisation. Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention'.

"In this particular instance the allegation is that the Ngatihine Mental Health Trust social worker was given the responsibility of care of two of his clients but then used his position to gain reward for his wider family and more recently directly for himself.

"It is shameful that the people who have enough challenges in their lives are taken advantage of by people who are given responsibility to look after their needs.

A letter of apology has been sent by the social worker to the Ngatihine Trust and I have also received a letter from the Ngatihine Mental Health Services General Manager Trust.

"While I am in receipt of a copy of the apology from the social worker involved and also the letter from Ngatihine Health Trust, I want to be assured that there are robust checks in place to ensure that this sort of thing can never happen again, not only from this Trust but from any of the trusts that the NDHB are funding.

If this is happening in one case how do we know that it is not widespread and I want to be assured that the NDHB is doing its job in monitoring all the tax payer money it allocates across the North.

"After all this is tax payers funding and the NDHB have a responsibility of care on behalf of the clients who need the support and also on behalf of New Zealand tax payers.

"Certainly in this case they have failed in their duty."

26 May 2008 (Local government)

Bay Of Islands Vintage Rail Trust congratulated

Northland MP John Carter has joined with others in the Northland Community to congratulate trust chairman Alison Lemon on re-launching the steam train Gabriel.

A trustee of the Bay of Islands Vintage Rail Trust himself, Mr Carter says: "Gabriel is famous amongst train enthusiasts. When originally built in 1927 it was one of five, but it is now the only one left in the world and is therefore unique.

"Gabriel hasn't run since 2000 and the trust has raised approximately $1 million to date. To get to this stage for such a small community is a major achievement.

"And of course the plans don't stop here.

"It is intended to run the train for a length of five kilometres at the moment, but in a few months she will do a return trip through to Opua - a distance in excess of 30kms.

"It is also planned that in time the steam train will meet up with the steam boat at Opua. People will then be able to take the steam train from Kawakawa to Opua and then by steam boat from Opua to the Kerikeri Basin.

"They will then be able to visit the historic Kerikeri Basin, see New Zealand's oldest stone building - the Stone Store - and one of New Zealand's oldest wooden buildings - Kemp House. From there they will be able to visit the steam sawmill and then 'Pete's car museum' to look at the history of transport in NZ before taking a return journey back to Kawakawa.

"This will add another full-day attraction to the Bay of Islands tourist sites, and will add job opportunities and business opportunities in a community that needs both.

"It's a great step forward for Northland and New Zealand, and all involved can take a bow."

25 May 2008 (Local government)

Budget fails to deliver for ratepayers

The Budget fails to deliver for ratepayers across the country who have faced years of local government rates increases, says National's Local Government spokesman, John Carter.

"Over the past eight years, ratepayers have suffered an average rates increase of over 64 percent.

"This is on top of interest rates that have been pushed up by wasteful Government spending, years of resistance to letting hardworking Kiwis keep more of their own income in the form of personal tax cuts, and rising petrol and living costs.

"Labour has to take some responsibility for the hardship being experienced by ratepayers."

Mr Carter points to evidence that shows the Labour Government's excessive regulation has contributed to rising costs in local government.

"Hamilton City Council has identified 60 pieces of legislation passed by Labour that have added to the burden of ratepayers. The Mayor of Wanganui has calculated that this excessive cost-shifting amounts to a 6 percent rates increase per year.

"Last year, to head off ratepayer discontent, Labour commissioned the Shand Inquiry into local government rates. That inquiry made 96 recommendations on how the burden of ratepayers could be addressed.

"If Labour took the Shand Inquiry seriously, the Budget would have reflected that. But you didn't see any mention of the inquiry or those 96 recommendations.

"Almost a year after the completion of the Shand Inquiry, Labour has not implemented a single recommendation. Not one.

"Labour has turned its back on struggling ratepayers. The rates increases ratepayers will have to pay this year will, in many cases, be far in excess of inflation and far in excess of Labour's block of cheese tax cuts."

22 May 2008 (Local government)

Funding level for special needs not enough

"I am deeply concerned that the funding allocated by the Labour Minister of Education is not sufficient to resource the needs of special needs students and the teachers who work with them," said John Carter MP for Northland.

Several years ago special needs students were allocated sufficient funding to allow for a teacher aide to be by the side of the student every hour of the school day to assist the teacher in the class room.

Unfortunately because funding has not increased these hours are now reduced so that less than 15 hours per student is available.

It has put more pressure on to the regular teacher and created tension for the parents of special needs students.

The students' needs do not become magically less as they grow older but indeed the very reverse is often the case and can in some instances cause safety problems not just for the special needs student but also other students and the teachers involved.

This issue is now nearly at crisis point and needs to be addressed urgently.

It has been brought to the attention of the Minister and it is disappointing that there was no obvious attempt to address this issue in the budget.," concluded John Carter MP.

Raised the matter with both the NDHB and the Ngatihine Trust and have virtually had a fob off from the Trust and a muted response from the NDHB washed their hands of the whole affair.

This is not satisfactory and why I brought this matter to the attention of the Health and Disabilities Commissioner and the Auditor General.

15 May 2008 (IPU Delegation)

Report of NZ delegation to IPU presented in Parliament

The report of the New Zealand delegation to the Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly held last month in Cape Town, South Africa, has been tabled in Parliament.

The New Zealand delegation was led by National MP John Carter and included Labour MP Dover Samuels and Green MP Nandor Tanczos.

Mr Carter says the report sets out the crisis situation in Zimbabwe and outlines how the delegation forced the issue of Zimbabwe on to the IPUs' agenda – a major coup for the MPs.

"The New Zealand delegation was troubled to find that Zimbabwe was not on the IPU's agenda. We considered it highly improper that the IPU – an organisation devoted to strengthening democracy - could meet in South Africa and ignore the events that were unfolding in a neighbouring country.

"We immediately took steps to have the matter considered as an emergency item and, after successful negotiations with other delegations, a Presidential Declaration on Zimbabwe was issued by the head of the IPU Assembly and Speaker of the South African National Assembly, Ms Baleka Mbete.

"This was a great success for New Zealand in the international parliamentary community. We have developed a high profile within the IPU, showing that we are a proactive delegation and not afraid of demanding that difficult issues be debated. It was also a huge honour to be able to achieve this sort of success.

"New Zealand is also taking a leading role in the IPU Committee on Middle East Questions, where we are working to provide a regular forum for Israeli and Palestinian representatives to hold discussions supported by parliamentary colleagues from other countries."

Mr Carter says it is pleasing to note that since the Assembly, progress has been made towards resolving the election stalemate in Zimbabwe. The delayed election results have been announced and a second run-off Presidential election will take place between President Robert Mugabe and MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

"We feel that our efforts at the Assembly played some part in adding to the international pressure on the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to release the election results."

The IPU Assembly was attended by more than 1400 delegates representing 130 Parliaments from around the world. The Assembly provides a unique opportunity for parliamentarians to engage with each other and discuss significant international issues.

23 April 2008 (Local government)

National announces broadband fibre network

National today announced a National government's intention to invest up to $1.5 billion to drive the roll-out of a fibre-to-the-home, ultra-fast broadband network in New Zealand.

"This investment will help deliver the economic step change that National wants and New Zealand needs. It will truly future-proof New Zealand," John Carter MP says.

"National's medium to long-term vision is for a fibre-optic connection to almost every home, supported by satellite and mobile solutions where it makes sense.

"Our initial goal is to ensure the accelerated roll-out of fibre right to the home of 75% of New Zealanders. In the first six years, priority will be given to business premises, schools, health facilities, and the first tranche of homes.

"This will directly benefit Northland, linking our homes, schools, and hospital at ultra-fast speeds to the rest of New Zealand and the world.

"National will also take additional steps to accelerate high speed broadband roll-out to rural and remote areas, with the first step being to double the Broadband Challenge Fund to $48m and refocus it on rural and remote areas.

"This means our rural and remote areas in Northland will also benefit," says John Carter MP.

"The investment will be made alongside additional private sector investment and will be subject to a series of principles. These include making the network open-access, ensuring the government investment does not see already-planned investments cut back, ensuring broadband services are affordable, and making sure incumbent industry players pockets are not lined.

"Fibre connected right to the home, business, school, or hospital will offer download and upload speeds many, many times faster than most Kiwis have ever experienced.

"Just think of the potential productivity gains. Workers won't have to always fly to meet with their counterparts in other cities - they'll have access to video-conferencing facilities instead. Small business won't have to waste precious dollars on expensive toll-calls - they'll make those calls at next to no cost over ultra-fast broadband.

"Kiwi entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to be at the forefront of developments of this century's most important technology. If dial-up could deliver Trade Me, who knows what could be done with fibre-to-the-home?

"Fibre to schools and children's homes could hugely enhance teaching and learning, while fibre to hospitals and medical centres could improve the productivity of the health sector.

"When your child has a birthday and their grandparents can't get there, you could project them in real-time up on the wall above the juice and the birthday cake.

"Fibre will deliver huge economic benefits to our country, in terms of enhanced productivity, improved global connectivity, and enhanced capacity for innovation.

"Independent experts estimate those benefits will be worth between $2.7 billion and $4.4 billion per year. The possibilities of this technology are endless and the potential productivity gains huge.

"Our small size and our distance from other countries make it hard for us to compete with the rest of the world. Ultra-fast broadband will help us overcome both of those things.

"150 years ago, the government had the vision to build railways and highways to facilitate the movement of goods.

"Today, we need government to help lay out the information highways of the future."

17 April 2008 (IPU Delegation)

NZ delegation places Zimbabwe on IPU agenda

The New Zealand delegation to the 118th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union in Cape Town, South Africa, has scored a coup over the issue of Zimbabwe.

Headed by National MP, John Carter, the delegation including Dover Samuels and Nandor Tanczos, promoted an emergency item on the subject of the recent elections in Zimbabwe.

Despite the sensitivity and tension amongst conference delegates, the New Zealand delegation was committed to advocating that the issue be placed on the agenda.

Following New Zealand's promotion of the subject, discussions were held with the President of the Assembly, Ms Baleka Mbete, who is also the Speaker of the South African National Assembly, and other South African delegates. They agreed to have the New Zealand initiative proceed as an agenda item by way of adoption on the Assembly agenda, rather than have it go through the process as an emergency item.

This was agreed to firstly by the South African delegation, and then adopted by the conference.

"To have the New Zealand initiative adopted by the South Africans and the Assembly as a whole, is a real coup," said John Carter.

"Our actions mean that the South Africans and, indeed, the other countries attending are now taking the matter seriously as a conference issue."

A Drafting Committee, on which Mr Carter will sit, and which includes a South African representative and four other delegates, is being put together to consider a draft resolution and statement to be adopted by the Assembly towards the end of the week.

"We are confident of a successful outcome," Mr Carter said

9 April 2008 (Local government)

Labour's hypocrisy knows no bounds

Labour's hypocrisy knows no bounds as was shown in Parliament last week, says National's Local Government spokesman, John Carter.

"My colleagues and I were shocked to hear Labour MPs praising George Hawkins for his great plans to deal with graffiti in his electorate when it was Labour who put the kybosh on Mr Hawkins' bill.

"When George Hawkins promoted his private member's bill, the Labour members on the Local Government and Environment Select Committee voted it down so it couldn't proceed.

"Even Phil Goff said there were 'Bill of Rights issues in terms of some provisions in the bill'.

"Doubting Labour MPs even said 'the Government's position is that there is no need for legislative change.'

"Then Labour, in a show of election-year opportunism, announced that it would get tougher on graffiti and would develop a national strategy around it.

"That was two months ago and we've seen nothing to date.

"Labour shafted one of its own and then sat on its hands. It has shown once again, that it will say anything to win votes. It is all talk and no action.

"The public will see it for what it is – election year hypocrisy."

7 April 2008 (Local government)

Civil Defence has no policy on consultation

National's Civil Defence spokesman John Carter is surprised that the Ministry of Civil Defence and Management does not have a policy on consultation.

"Answers to parliamentary written questions show that the ministry has no policy.

"I asked if it had a policy on consulting with education groups or providers and a formal policy on consulting with stakeholders.

"Minister Rick Barker replied: 'I am advised that consultation by the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management with education groups or providers is determined on an issue-by-issue basis…and I am advised that consultation by the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management with stakeholders is determined on an issue-by-issue basis'.

"This is not good enough.

"It is concerning that a government department doesn't have a policy on consultation especially when I hear that they have an obligation to consult in line with Department of Internal Affairs' values of transparency and integrity.

"National would do better than that."

1 April 2008 (Local Government and Civil Defence)

Carter calls for co-operation on route security & Northland flood strategy

Northland MP John Carter is appealing for the region's leaders to develop a strategy to deal with the impact that serious flooding has on the area.

He has written to the chair of the Northland Regional Council, Mark Farnsworth, suggesting that the region's leaders will not fully address the problems associated with devastating floods unless they develop a Northland-wide strategy supported by the Government.

"This has become a major issue for the north," says Mr Carter.

"Over recent times, we have experienced serious flooding which has caused grave disruption to our services, particularly in the mid and far north, but at times across the whole of Northland.

"I am very conscious of the fact that the Northland Regional Council has already decided to do some remedial work to try to alleviate some of the most pressing problems. However, I am convinced that we all need to work together to address this very serious issue.

"I would much rather that we, as Northland leaders, pool our energy and influence to have the flood-prone areas addressed in a strategic way. These are the areas of Ruakaka, State Highway 14 west of Whangarei, Hukerenui, and Towai, north of Whangarei, Kawakawa, Kaeo, and the area south of Kaitaia.

"No doubt there are other spots but these are the major ones that choke us."

Mr Carter says it is imperative the people of Northland are assured that during times of severe flooding, they will have access to essential services like health, electricity, and telecommunications as rapidly as possible.

He hopes the region's leaders will take up his call and take the case to central government.

25 March 2008 (Local Government)

Stop dumping on local government

Labour's latest bid to make housing more affordable is yet another example of the Government dumping on local government as it tries to cover up its record of failure, says National's Local Government spokesman, John Carter.

"Councils up and down the country are urging Labour to dump its fundamentally flawed affordable housing bill. They're warning that it will leave them open to unacceptable risks and legal challenges, and burdened with even more compliance costs.

"It is more passing of the buck from central to local government and it must stop.

"It is also dubious that the legislation will make home ownership more affordable. Councils are actually saying the opposite – that the bill will push up the overall cost of housing, and that councils and ratepayers will end up footing the bill.

"When is Labour going to learn that its absurd obsession with over-regulation is counter-productive and unnecessary. It has already passed 69 pieces of legislation which have resulted in massive cost increases for both councils and ratepayers.

"National won't treat local government and ratepayers with such disdain. We will slash compliance costs, simplify home building processes, and reform the RMA to ensure home affordability becomes a reality for ordinary Kiwis."

3 March 2008 (Local Government)

Boosting education opportunities

The school year is well under way. Up and down the country, every schoolchild is getting used to new teachers and classes, and looking forward to the things they'll learn, the challenges they'll face, and the opportunities their education will give them.

At least that's what we'd like to believe. Sadly, the reality falls short of this. Too many kids are not succeeding in our education system. Too many leave school without a basic qualification. Too many simply don't get a chance to succeed.

That's why John Key has made improving our education system a priority for the National Party. We want every child from every background in every corner of New Zealand to get the education they need to make the most of themselves and their future.

We've already announced several policies to help achieve this.

In January, we unveiled our Youth Guarantee. This is a universal educational entitlement for all 16- and 17-year-olds. It will allow young people to access, free of charge, educational study towards school-level qualifications in polytechnics, other educational providers, or in the workplace. It will be on top of existing education entitlements, and acknowledges that some kids are more motivated to learn in a non-school setting.

We have also announced our Trades in Schools initiatives. These will give teenagers hands-on practical training that can encourage them to stay in school, inspire them to get the skills they need, and help them enter the workforce.

In April last year, we launched our policy on National Education Standards. A National Government will set standards in reading, writing, and maths. We will require all primary and intermediate students to be assessed against those standards, and make sure the results are reported to parents.

And in early February, we announced that we will keep interest-free loans for tertiary students. We'll also offer a 10% bonus for voluntary lump-sum payments of $500 or more to encourage repayment and allow students to get out of debt sooner.

Over the coming months we'll continue rolling out our policies for a better education system. We'll put the spotlight on cutting red tape, raising student achievement, and tackling truancy. We'll lay out where we stand on everything from early childhood education through to the tertiary sector.

The end result will be a package of polices that National will deliver to boost the quality of education, raise standards in our schools, and give every young Kiwi the opportunity to make the most of themselves and New Zealand's future.

15 February 2008 (Local Government)

Graffiti moves election-year hypocrisy

Helen Clark's announcement of tougher action on graffiti smacks of hypocrisy and election-year opportunism, says National's Justice spokesman, Simon Power.

"While honest citizens have been putting up with this scourge for eight years, Labour has done nothing – until election year.

"In her 1999 election manifesto, Helen Clark promised a programme of restorative justice "in which young offenders and their families can opt for community work, e.g. cleaning up graffiti, as an alternative to prosecution." Nothing happened.

"Then, in November 2005, one of Labour's own MPs promoted the Manukau City Council (Control of Graffiti) Bill aimed at banning the sale of spray cans to under 18s, but the Labour-dominated Local Government and Environment Select Committee voted that it should not proceed.

"At that time, Minister Phil Goff said there were 'Bill of Rights issues in terms of some provisions in the bill'."

National's Local Government spokesman, John Carter, says the Labour MPs argued that restricting the sale of spray paint would 'encourage the use of alternative graffiti implements'.

"What's more, those MPs doubted that measures to restrict the sale of spray paint and to impose harsher penalties would work, saying 'there is little evidence that the measures proposed would actually reduce the incidence of graffiti', and that 'the Government's position is that there is no need for legislative change'.

"National supported the Hawkins Bill, and will look at carefully at Labour's proposals."

Mr Power says Labour's trumpeting of an increase in penalties is disingenuous, considering there is already provision for a $2,000 fine or three months imprisonment for wilful damage under Section 11 of the Summary Offences Act, and seven years imprisonment under the Crimes Act, according to Ministry of Justice advice.

"I am sure the public will see this announcement for what it is – election-year hypocrisy.

"All of a sudden, at the beginning of election year and after several highly publicised incidents involving graffiti, there is need for legislative change, and Labour's defence of the so-called rights of taggers don't matter any more.

"They're down in the polls and now they decide to do something about youth crime."

14 February 2008 (Local Government)

Waitangi Day - a celebration of Northland

Waitangi Day is a special day for all New Zealanders. It's a time for all of us to reflect on our unique heritage, culture, and national identity. It's also a time when the focus of politicians, media, and the public comes to rest firmly on Waitangi and Northland.

That's why it's been so pleasing to me, as the MP for Northland, to see the festivities at Waitangi return to their very best in recent years. This year saw the most peaceful celebrations for some time, and continued the trend of the past two or three years.

Along with National Party Leader John Key, I enjoyed a truly memorable day that ranged from a moving dawn ceremony, the grandeur of the 21-gun salute, and the bustling multicultural market stalls.

The day passed mostly without incident and it was heartening to see people of all ages, sex, and races enjoying the beauty of Waitangi and the rich array of cultural offerings.

I think it's a true credit to the people of Northland that we have all worked together to organise such a great day, and it made me proud to attend as the local MP.

Perhaps the only blight on the day, and indeed on Northland, was Helen Clark's refusal to attend a number of key events at Waitangi. The Prime Minister's main justification for her no-show was that the event was a circus and not befitting of her attendance.

Well, maybe four or five years ago the Prime Minister was right, and nobody could deny that in certain years there have been some rough and unpleasant scenes at Waitangi.

But it's time Helen Clark got over herself. Waitangi Day celebrations have moved on a massive amount in the past few years, and 2008 has really shown that her excuses are wearing thin.

Politicians and community leaders of all hues enjoyed the day peacefully and without incident, and it's time the Prime Minister stopped snubbing Waitangi and the people of Northland and began attending our events.

There is, arguably, no more important day on Northland's calendar than Waitangi, and for Helen Clark to not attend shows just how little she values our region.

1 February 2008 (Local government)

MP praises literacy initiative

Northland MP John Carter is praising the initiative of eight Northland schools in organising a literacy and numeracy day next month.

Kaikohe Literacy and Numeracy Day will be held at Northland College on March 8.

"This is a timely and extremely important reminder that good literacy and numeracy skills are critical if young people are to meet their full potential.

"New Zealand's literacy and numeracy rates are nowhere near good enough, and an initiative like this can make all the difference.

"Labour's record in this area is abysmal. In 2005, 22.6% of students in New Zealand left school without having NCEA level one credits in literacy and numeracy.

"National is making literacy and numeracy a priority because we know how important they are.

"The coordinator of the Kaikohe Literacy and Numeracy Day, Don Edmonds, agrees. He says; ' we really want to reinforce the message that literacy and numeracy is important, and can be fun. This will be best achieved if the young people and their parents see our community leaders supporting this initiative'.

"I urge all Northland parents to do just that."

9 January 2008 (Local Government)

Rates up an average 64.6% since 1999

Ratepayers across the country will again be disappointed and angry as they face huge rate hikes again this year as a result of Labour's dithering and its failure to stem a tidal wave of costs that local government is facing.

Figures compiled by the Parliamentary library and collated by National (attached and below) show that since 1999, average rates have risen by 64.62%, while inflation for the period has run at around 22%.

"It's easy to see why some households are hurting.

"Last year, in a rush to fend off criticism, Labour threw together a partisan 'rates inquiry'.

"Labour is now saying it will respond to the rates crunch some time before the election, but even if something is announced – it will be too late to have any impact on rates this year.

"Many ratepayers are staring down the barrel of double digit rates increases. Some rises are predicted to be as high as in the early 20 per cent range. This is intolerable, particularly for fixed and low income earners.

"Meanwhile, the rates rebate programme stretches only so far when Labour has passed more than 60 pieces of legislation which have loaded new costs and responsibilities onto local authorities and ratepayers. This buck-passing is tax by stealth.

"More red tape, more compliance, equals higher rates."

Local Government rates increases 1999 to 2007

Rates increases by Council type

Council type % change 1999-2007
Avg rates increase per Metropolitan ratepayer 69.20%
Avg rates increase per Provincial ratepayer 52.50%
Avg rates increase per Rural ratepayer 41.70%
Avg rates increase per Regional Council ratepayer 84.10%
Average rates increase per ratepayer in NZ 64.60%

(Metropolitan areas have a greater impact on the overall NZ average due to their higher population base.)

 

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