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Taniwha Tax - Coming, Ready or Not!

Regardless of the Government's claim that the amendments to the RMA are designed to make the progress easier and quicker, the contrary appears ot be the case in at least one respect.

The Taxpayer's Union today draws attention to the advent of a universal 'Taniwha Tax' along the lines of that currently in place in Auckland, and that while having been used sparingly to date, it contains the potential to keep a great number of kaumatua in the manner to which they aspire when fully implemented.

Here is an extract from their Taxpayers' Union bulletin put out today:

"We believe that every Auckland homeowner or potential homeowner needs to know how the new provisions affect them.

Most affected property owners will not become aware of the provisions until they suddenly find there is a site on or near their land, or they are told they may need to get a Cultural Impact Assessment (CIA) when applying for resource consent. Worse, the Council isn’t even sure that some of the 3,600 sites deemed ‘of value’ even exist. It didn’t bother to check.

The Briefing Paper quotes extensive criticisms of the provisions made on behalf of some of New Zealand’s largest corporates, including Vodafone, Spark, Chorus, Transpower, Vector, Watercare.

If you thought that navigating RMA red tape was hard, these provisions could require you to negotiate with up to nineteen Mana Whenua groups in order to gain development consent, the rules mean that resource consents may be subject to expensive modifications, even if the reasons are entirely spiritual in nature.

The Council has previously tried to dampen public concerns, claiming that not many Cultural Impact Assessments have been required so far. They ignore the cost and delay of applicants having to go to iwi groups to ask whether a CIA is required.

Most of the messages contained in the Paper are not those of the Taxpayers’ Union. We have deliberately repeated what would otherwise go undiscovered in the files of lawyers, planners and Council insiders. Our work is to shine some democratic light onto what has happened."

Already we are aware of effects of the development plans of central Thames landowners being impacted beyond the requirement to pile because of the height of the imperceptibly rising water table. But  were you aware that building plans are already being jeopardised by iwi 'cultural' claims that affect private developments as well ae those in the public arena.

Watch a car-yard now under development on Queen Street where a building developer was apparently stymied with plans because of claims of there being an urupa on the site.

It will be interesting to see how these requirements may be woven into the Settlement document that has yet to be published. We are not even certain that councillors have been made aware of all its contents. Certainly the delays and uncertainty do not auger well for the final outcome, but I guess that we simply have to wait see what emerges.  




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