Ratepayers Picking Up the Bill as Bureaucracy Chokes Wellington Nightlife
Responding to reports of a concerted effort to further restrict alcohol licences in Wellington, Taxpayers’ Union Researcher, James Ross, said:
“Wellington City Council has been crying poverty, leading to an average rates increase of 12.3% just this year alone. Is it any wonder the city is finding itself short of cash when it seems to be doing everything in its power to drive away business?
“Government agencies like Te Whatu Ora are using taxpayers’ money lobbying to make sure individual bars fail. These agencies have no right to moralise over how people choose to spend their hard-earned cash, and the Council certainly have no right to demand higher rates to compensate for the economic damage caused by their own puritanism.
“As it stands, why would you ever choose to invest in Wellington’s night-time economy? After investing hundreds of thousands of dollars in the city, the best case scenario seems to be ending up mired in months of bureaucracy and legal challenges. In far too many cases, when licences are arbitrarily denied, entrepreneurs may as well have just burnt the money. Wellington needs to reassess its priorities and signal that it’s open for business.”