01 November 2006
Rates Inquiry Details Ensure Prospect of Real Change
New Zealand First is pleased that having secured an independent rates inquiry, the government has worked with us to
deliver an independent high calibre inquiry panel and a robust terms of reference, says New Zealand First leader Winston
"The calibre of David Shand, Graeme Horsley and Dr Christine Cheyne speaks for itself and bodes well for both the
independence and the rigor which we hope to see applied to this critical issue," said Mr Peters.
"The terms of reference ensure that the critical aspects of how local government is funded and the relative impact of
this on rate payers and the wider public is examined in detail. It also ensures that other associated issues such as
local government expenditure, Maori land and the rates rebate scheme are also covered.
"The time frame is tight, but appropriate given that it will coincide with the lead up to local government elections
next year. The public will be able to see exactly what local body candidates stand for in relation to those issues being
canvassed by this inquiry.
"New Zealand First campaigned on this and was the only party calling for an independent inquiry when the rates issue
intensified earlier this year. The government and others were quick to see the wisdom of this and we are pleased that it
is now becoming a reality. This is how MMP is supposed to work.
"The challenge now is for those who wish to contribute to this process to be active and have their say. This inquiry
provides the prospect of real change and better outcomes for all New Zealanders," concluded Mr Peters.