“Tribal Tax” to be part of Treaty settlement

Published: Fri 11 Jun 2010 04:42 PM
“Tribal Tax” to be part of Treaty settlement
A Ngapuhi tribal leader will be insisting at the Waitangi Tribunal hearings next week that a special tribal tax be imposed on all residents living within Ngapuhi boundaries.
David Rankin, the Chairman of the Matarahurahu hapu, says that this tax will be one of the non-negotiable parts of any settlement Ngapuhi reaches with the Crown, and has promised to withdraw his hapu’s consent if it is not achieved.
Mr. Rankin’s ancestor, Hone Heke, was the first chief in the country to sign the Treaty in 1840, and also had a tax at that time that applied to traders in the Bay of Islands.
“The idea of a tribal tax is not new”, says Mr. Rankin. “It is part of our history, and a right we wish to reassert in order to restore some fiscal equity in Northland.”
Mr. Rankin is proposing a flat tax rate of 9 % be applied to every person living within Ngapuhi’s tribal territory, and that it be administered by IRD.
“There is no point on doubling up on administrative costs”, says Mr. Rankin. “We wish to establish a partnership with Inland Revenue in order to ensure that the tax is fairly levied.”
As for the revenue from the proposed tax, Mr. Rankin cites a number of economic development projects – starting with aquaculture projects – which will benefit from the funding.
“The whole scheme makes prudent fiscal sense”, he says. “As the economy of the region grows due to the investment of the tax revenue, more jobs will be created and more people will move to the area, thus growing our tax base. It’s a win-win situation”.

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