Smith to hit councils with late fees

Last updated 05:00 19/02/2010

Relevant offers


Motorcades and high level security are the perks of travelling with the PM: Brendon McCullum US Secretary of State tipped for NZ visit Methamphetamine contamination guidelines 'misused' to evict tenants Mental health workers clock up big hours PM Paula Bennett? What the Westie warrior could do while she's in the hot seat New Zealand's as close as it's ever got to a free trade deal with India - John Key Prime Minister John Key would have attended Helen Kelly's memorial service if he could John Key officially welcomed in New Delhi ahead of meeting with Indian counterpart Former GNS Science chief executive was highest-earning CRI boss on $800,000 India cranks up security a notch for Prime Minister John Key's visit

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?



Vote Result

Related story: 110kmh limit moves closer

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content