INDEPENDENT NEWS

Minister needs to front up on rates inquiry

Published: Thu 11 Jan 2018 10:10 AM
Minister needs to front up on rates inquiry
The Local Government Minister needs to get on with her job and tell ratepayers what she plans to do about the Government’s promised review into local government spending, National Party Local Government spokesperson Jami-Lee Ross says.
“The Government promised to hold a public inquiry into local government revenue and funding, yet despite this being the flagship policy for her portfolio it appears Nanaia Mahuta has not started any work or made any announcements on it.
“Ms Mahuta claimed to be seeking advice on establishing her review, however her answers to parliamentary questions paint a more lacklustre picture.
“In answer to my written questions, the Minister has claimed to have received no briefings, no reports, no memos, no papers and no aide memoir relating to this review. She has also confirmed that she has not had a single meeting about the proposed inquiry.
“Ms Mahuta is either showing a very limited interest in the single priority her Government has for the local government portfolio, or is misleading Parliament in her answers.
“Unfortunately this is starting to reflect the way Ms Mahuta dealt with the last inquiry into rates that occurred under her watch between 2007 and 2008.
“Back when she was last Minister, the Government received 96 recommendations from a public inquiry into local government, but Ms Mahuta refused to implement a single one of them in the year and a half after the review.
“This review will be exceptionally important to local councils and ratepayers. Ms Mahuta needs to be straight with them about what she plans to do.
“Ratepayers deserve to know if she will take the portfolio more seriously than she did ten years ago.”

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