Smith to hit councils with late fees

BY COLIN ESPINER
Last updated 05:00 19/02/2010

Relevant offers

Politics

What are politicians doing to monitor Facebook's activities in New Zealand? Labour leader Andrew Little makes election year promises to Nelson voters Councillor with less than six months' experience could be Wellington's next deputy mayor Community organisations fear losing time, by providing personal details Max Key takes us behind the scenes of John Key's last day Treaty Minister: Eight years on and 'not a hope' of iwi settlement before the election Afghan villagers' lawyer says more information supports need for an inquiry Government deploys Hercules and troops to Middle East at request of Australian Defence Force Tony Craig: Cuts highlight systemic failure in NZ fisheries management Labour leader Andrew Little still supports SAS inquiry despite Defence Force rebuttal

Regional councils charging late fees for rates payments are about to get some of their own medicine.

Environment Minister Nick Smith has outlined details of "financial incentives" for councils who fail to process resource consent applications within the statutory 20 days.

Under the changes, which the Government wants in place by July, councils that are up to a week late in processing a resource consent must provide a discount of 25 per cent of their fee. A further 5 per cent discount will be added for every week the consent is delayed, up to a maximum of 80 per cent.

Draft regulations already sent out to councils set out procedures for determining fault.

"It has long been councils' policy that a penalty is loaded on ratepayers for failing to pay rates on time. If it's good enough for the goose, it's good enough for the gander," Dr Smith said. The rules were only minimum discounts, and councils wishing to offer free consents for late processing could still do so.

"This new policy is about recognising that time is money. New Zealand's economic recovery cannot be held back by inefficient and costly red tape." Dr Smith said there had been a growth in late consents (more than 20 working days) from 21 per cent in 2000 to 59 per cent in 2008.

Ad Feedback
Special offers
Opinion poll

Should the speed limit be raised to 110kmh on some roads?

Yes

No

Vote Result

Related story: 110kmh limit moves closer

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content