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Taxpayers' Union launch 'Taniwha Tax' briefing paper

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The Taxpayers’ Union, with support from the Auckland Property Investors’ AssociationAuckland Ratepayers’ Alliance and Democracy Action today launched a briefing paper on Auckland Council’s new Mana Whenua Cultural Impact Assessment provisions. The paper, entitled The Taniwha Tax: Briefing paper on Auckland Council’s new Mana Whenua rules.

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."

The report is available to download here. 

 

UPDATE: To check if your property is one of the estimated 18,000 affected by these provisions, please click here for our guide.


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